Faculty Friday Mrs. MaryEllen Ryan: A True Lifelong Learner

For Mount Alvernia Academy First, Second & Third Grade Teacher, Mrs. MaryEllen Ryan, learning is truly a lifelong passion. “I love school!” She laughed. “I could be a student forever. There is just something about it — learning new things, setting goals, and then achieving them. I just love being part of a school community.” Mrs. Ryan has been an integral part of our school community, first as a parent, then as a teacher’s aide. But, Mrs. Ryan’s journey to becoming a teacher begins long before she started as an aide four years ago. “I had always thought about teaching, even way back, but I sort of steered in a different direction.” Her desire to learn has taken her on a unique journey to teaching. Along the way, she has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience that serves her to this day. Throughout her career, though, one thing has remained constant — her passion for learning.

Science was one of Mrs. Ryan’s first academic loves. She parlayed her scientific curiosity and college coursework into a career as an X-Ray tech. After eight years in the industry, Mrs. Ryan decided to push herself intellectually and go to law school. The consummate student, she quickly immersed herself in her new path. Mrs. Ryan served as a clerk in Boston’s family probate court for two years and worked in a private practice for two years before stopping when her second daughter was born. Engaging with her curious daughters not only provided endless opportunities for discovery but also reminded her of how much she enjoyed sharing her knowledge with others. “I really enjoyed working with my children and helping them learn. That really reignited my desire to teach.”

From the very beginning, Mrs. Ryan felt at home here on top of the hill. “I love the environment of constantly striving to learn here,” she said with a smile. When the chance to become a full-time teacher came up, she jumped at the opportunity. “It wasn’t even a question. I just said ‘YES!’” she remembered. Mrs. Ryan has enjoyed every minute of her first year as a full-time teacher here at MAA. She particularly likes teaching science, “It’s fun to do science again. I’ve always enjoyed it, from my time as an X-Ray tech to the classes I took in college. I actually have a microscope at home so my kids could use it and experiment. It’s so much fun,” she said.

Mrs. Ryan is looking forward to working with students as they grow. As a 2nd and 3rd-grade science and math teacher as well as reading instructor for 1st grade, she has the added benefit of working with students as they progress through their academic journey here at MAA. “I am excited to see how they grow and change from 1st to 2nd to 3rd grade,” she said. Our students are lucky to have that continuity with Mrs. Ryan. What better role model and guide than a woman who embodies what it means to be a lifelong learner?

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