At Northshore High School, Kelly Ryan immerses her 11th and 12th grade students in collaborative, scientific exploration in her environmental science and chemistry classes. A Northshore alumna herself, Ryan’s shared experiences relate to her students. Her dedication to academic excellence shines through her meticulously structured, standards-based approach, emphasizing higher-order thinking skills. Ryan’s goal is not just to impart knowledge, but also to equip students with analytical reasoning abilities that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Driven by an unwavering passion for intellectual growth, Ryan’s students embark on innovative, hands-on lab ventures like an “alien planet” activity with the periodic table of elements. Students use context clues from the elements discovered on this planet to systematically construct the periodic table of a fictitious planet. Ryan also teaches ACT preparation classes and serves on the district’s ACT committee where she has developed and implemented highly effective strategies to drive and improve student performance. One inventive application is a digital ACT growth tracker for students to monitor scores and, along with their parents, assess progress and work toward growth goals. Ryan also implemented the school’s much-anticipated “Warm-Up Walk” after researching that light exercise prior to a test could relieve anxiety and boost performance. Students arrive at school prior to the first bell and walk the track for a few minutes as they are energetically cheered on by teachers —receiving water, a granola bar and lively support and encouragement for the upcoming assessment.
Through a partnership with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), Northshore High, Ryan is an active member of Northshore’s Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) that drives professional development and support on campus. She also serves as the sponsor of the National Honor Society, where she encourages students’ community involvement during canned food drives for a local food bank, writing Santa letters to local elementary students and collecting donations for military personnel who are deployed overseas. She also sponsors the middle school robotics club, which has sparked an interest in robotics for students and parents alike. The club won first place in the robot game and the sportsmanship award at the World War II Museum Tournament, earned the second-place championship award at State, and qualified for Nationals.
Ryan is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, earning a Bachelor and Master of biological sciences in 2009 and 2012, respectively.
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