Faculty Farewell: Mr. Ryan

Charley Pierce, Web Designer

As the end of our school year approaches, many are getting ready to say goodbye to one another. Saying goodbye to someone who has had a big influence on you can make the water works start for anyone. 

“Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re making a difference. It’s those students who make a point to say ‘You have impacted me through my high school career,’ that has kept me going, that has made me want to keep doing what I’m doing,” said Mr. Ryan.

Mr. Ryan has worked at MHS for ten years. He has been the backbone to our choir department, always making it a goal of his to make his students feel wanted and cared for.  

However, Choir wasn’t his first career choice. Mr. Ryan graduated high school wanting to become a photographer. He soon realized that the business and editing side of photography was not for him, that he wanted to work with people. He then got a job working with special needs and juvenile offenders. 

“I enjoyed that, so I thought about Special Education. But I was really worried I would burn out. From all the paperwork, all the IEP’s. I didn’t think I could do it forever. But I just saw so many kids who had zero positive male role models. That’s when my heart came for working with students.” He said.

Although he had already finished all his music theory classes and been in every semester of choir, the thought of being a music teacher never really even crossed his mind. 

“That’s when I thought, wow. I can do both and make it one job,” shared Mr. Ryan. 

 He then went to attend St. Ambrose University in Davenport. 

Once Mr. Ryan decided his new path, he had to figure out those new ropes. And as a perfectionist, Mr. Ryan can be a little too hard on himself. A problem he had at the beginning was he found that he tied too much of his self worth to his job. 

Thanks to the effort and dedication on Mr. Ryan’s behalf, MHS continues to have a stellar Show Choir program seen here performing at the Talent Show in March.

“You’re taking things that are so personal to you. Then you’re putting them out there for others to see, criticize and judge. You are going to competitions with other schools, who oftentimes have a lot more resources than you. You don’t know what goes behind the scenes there, so it can be very easy to compare yourself. I would say things like ‘Wow, you’re no good as a director, look at them.’ But I had to tell myself, Yeah , there are better directors out there, I know that. But I’m here, I’m the one who applied for this job. I’m the one who got this job. I just have to trust myself,” said Mr. Ryan. 

While in his role at MHS he learned you will never be done with this job, There is always something more to do. But work and life balance is the key to this job. You have to find that distinct line. But, Mr. Ryan is excited for his next step in life. 

Mr. Ryan’s faith is incredibly important to him, as well as working with youth. Mr. Ryan is going to seminary. He wants to go into a youth ministry. He still gets to keep the best part of his job, the people.

“My faith is what has got me through many tough times in my life. I want to be better equipped to help people in those ways,” Mr. Ryan said.

But Mr. Ryan will still be around for us to see and visit. 

“I have applied for an internship at a church here in town, that I will be doing online. I’ll still be around, I may even be popping back into sub. But I will be back to being a full time student, getting a masters in Arts & Religion.”

Although Mr. Ryan will not be in our halls anymore, he is still super excited for our choir program’s future and the new hire. 

“I think he is solid and he does have a heart for people. It makes me feel better knowing my students are being left in good hands,” he said. 

“My students have impacted my life more than I have impacted theirs. I’m thankful for that. People will not always remember what you own and what you do. But they will remember how you made them feel. I want people to know that I was supportive of them, I cared about them, that I was invested in them. I want them all to feel valued, because they are. They are very loved,” – Mr. Ryan.