Milestone for the principal | Brimbank & Northwest
When Sunshine North Elementary School principal Ken Ryan started, he wasn’t sure he wanted to be a teacher.
While in high school, he was interested in pursuing a career in computer programming. But a speech from a former student of his high school put on the path to becoming a teacher.
The idea of ââliving in Bendigo at the teachers’ college and playing soccer on the weekends drew him to a career.
Fast forward to today and Mr. Ryan is recognized for 45 years of teaching.
âThere aren’t a lot of people celebrating being with one employer for 45 years,â he said.
âWhen I signed on for three years at the start, I thought it was a lifetime. Now, I don’t feel like it’s been 45 years of work.
“If you don’t want to walk through the front door and be ready for something different every day, you probably aren’t meant to be a teacher.”
Mr. Ryan started as a teacher before becoming part of the school administration team and then the principal. He also studied at Harvard.
He began teaching regionally and taught overseas for a year in Alaska, but the western suburbs became his home.
He taught at various Brimbank schools before spending the last 21 years at Sunshine North.
Mr Ryan said that while a lot of people didn’t like the idea of ââteaching in the western suburbs, it was something he liked.
âWhen I started, a lot of people didn’t want to work in the western suburbs,â he said.
âI found it to be a melting pot. Many families are starting their life in Australia and as a teacher you are helping them settle down.
âNow that I’m back in a classroom, it’s great to see children learning so that they can reach their potential.
âEveryone is different, but students need the right person to represent their interests. ”
Mr Ryan said the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges over the past 18 months.
But he says it’s all part of the journey.
âWhen I started we put it all on the board,â Ryan said.
âThings like computers and printers didn’t exist. I’m saying every 10 years a teacher has to change and re-evaluate what learning looks like.
âI introduced the one-on-one iPad program at school. Students must now learn to be creative and to communicate.
Due to the pandemic, the education department will not be able to organize a ceremony to recognize long-time teachers.
However, Mr. Ryan will still receive a personalized certificate of recognition and commemorative booklet.
Mr Ryan has said he is likely to retire next year.