Fifth-grade teacher Shannon Ryan has been dubbed “Wonder Woman” by colleagues at Lavaland Elementary for her unstoppable efforts in the classroom and campus-wide. In a school marked by an extremely high poverty rate, Ryan’s expectations of students are equally high. She requests the most challenged students and instills a belief in their capacity to achieve. And achieve they do with growth in math, reading and writing that is the highest in the school. Ryan continually monitors student progress and utilizes data to guide her instruction, which is enhanced by PowerPoint presentations and songs to reinforce concepts. Her impact is evident in the state’s Highly Effective rating, indicating that her students achieved more than a year’s growth.
Ryan’s passion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education finds expression in the school science fair that she organizes, as well as afterschool programs including a Hands-On Science Club and Mission to Mars program. She has also helped to raise funds and coordinate other activities such as the Drama Club, Newspaper Club, Battle of the Books, and Red Ribbon Week to promote an alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle for students, a weeklong event, which included an essay contest and culminated with an aerial photo of the entire school forming a giant red ribbon on the playground.
As a clear and consistent communicator whether by phone, email or in person, Ryan engages parents in their children’s learning and maintains a class website where parents can stay up-to-date on all activities. And when it comes to her fellow educators, she delivers professional development on the latest instructional technology, serves as grade level chair, mentors new teachers and co-chairs Lavaland’s Instructional Council. In whatever she undertakes, Shannon Ryan is the consummate professional and adept at helping students achieve their potential.
Jan 26, 2015
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