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Ryan Wolf Named 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year

Last Updated on Apr 17, 2014 at 2:53pm | Public Information Office

Ryan T. Wolf, teacher at Southern Garrett High School, has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.  Ryan teaches Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II.  He has been employed by Garrett County Public Schools since 2004, teaching all nine years at Southern High School.
 
Ryan graduated from Frostburg State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and is currently seeking a Master’s Degree in Education Theory and Practice through Arkansas State University.  Ryan indicated, “It was at FSU that I discovered that I really have a passion for mathematics.  Dr. Mark Hughes is my primary influence in becoming a teacher.  The manner in which he conducted his classes and the genuine interest that he displayed in all of the aspects of teaching made a huge impression on me.  He was the first one to have a genuine, personal interest in me.  I strive to have my students think about me the same way.”
 
Ryan’s other key attributes are: Educators Effectiveness Academy attendee the past three years, a SMART Notebook Software and Response Training Facilitator, PLC (Professional Learning Communities) Leader in mathematics, Head Golf coach and Assistant Bocce coach, Oakland Elks Lodge Teacher of the Year in 2007-08, voted “Easiest Teacher to Understand” by SHS graduating classes from 2006-12, Town of Oakland councilman on his second term, and an active member of the Mt. Lake Park Lions Club.

 

Pictured in the photo are:  Jim Maddy, Southern High School Principal; Paul Edwards,
Director of Secondary Education; Ryan Wolf, Teacher of the Year; Barbara Baker,
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services and Coordinator of the Teacher of
the Year Program; and Kurt Lear, Southern High School Vice-Principal.
 
 
Ryan stated, “The biggest rewards of teaching are from the moments of enlightenment, when a student struggles to master a concept and finally makes a breakthrough in understanding.  The best examples for me are when I have worked with students who have struggled to pass the High School Assessments in Algebra.  I have had many students in the past who have taken the tests multiple times and have failed.  Through remediation during the academic year and even during summer school, these students have diligently worked to improve. I have never felt more professional pride than when I have gotten to tell these students that they have finally passed the test.”
 
As Ryan considers the state of education, he indicates, “My message would be that teachers need to provide a positive environment for all students in which they feel safe to take risks and make mistakes on the path to learning.  In order to get the best results, students must be willing to have no fear of failure, because from failure comes learning.  One of my favorite quotes comes from Michael Jordan, ‘I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.’ If students are afraid to fail in your classroom, then they will never be able to achieve their full learning potential.”