Dr Ryan was born and raised in Detroit, attending the public schools there through the ninth grade. Her family moved to suburban St. Claire Shores, MI, where she graduated from South Lake High School. Dr. Ryan then went on to Michigan State University, where she earned a BA in Social Science and an MA in Counseling. She taught for four years at Chippewa Valley High, outside Mt. Clemens, MI, and was a counselor at Roseville High in Roseville, MI for two years.
Forty-eight years ago she moved to SW Florida and took a job with Collier County Schools, as a counselor at Immokalee Middle School. During that time, she worked on, and completed her Doctorate in Educational Administration from Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton. After eight years at Immokalee Middle School, she moved to Immokalee High as a teacher for nineteen years.
Dr. Ryan’s final two years with the system were spent in a district job, as Summer School administrator, where she oversaw a budget of $3 million, hiring over 500 people, and supervising the staff, curriculum, transportation, and food services for a large student population at seven sites around the county.
In obtaining her Doctorate, she was required to study Florida School Law and Finance, leaving her with an understanding of how these functions work. “This will help to allow me to be a productive Board Member from day one. Our teachers, whom we entrust to educate our youth, deserve higher pay and tenure, to ensure that we attract the best and the brightest. I also pledge to stand for the equal treatment of all students and staff, and to protect against censorship,” Dr. Ryan said.
In retirement, Dr. Ryan volunteers her time to students through the High School and Middle School Scholar Bowl Programs, High School Mock Trial, Know Your County Government, and Middle School & High School Debate. She also serves on the Naples Council on World Affairs Outreach Committee, interviewing high school juniors for scholarships to travel abroad for the summer. She is also an active member of the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women. She was a Florida Council of Social Studies Board Member from 2003-08.
From January through May of 2017, she had the privilege to serve on four Social Studies textbook selection committees (American History, American Government, Economics, and Electives: Psychology, Sociology, and Geography) for the District.
“Collier County has one of the best school districts in the State of Florida. Together let’s continue to move the District forward,” Dr. Ryan said.