Laurie Ryan Returns to FHC to Teach Health


Sam Noonan, Staff Writer

Health teacher Laurie Ryan stands in front of her class, helping them turn on their computers and pull up the lesson plan on Google Classroom. Her lesson plan is written out on the whiteboard, and she instructs the class with a distinct sense of familiarity. Her room, decorated with posters encouraging good health, builds an atmosphere of learning.

“I had taught Health for the previous 8 years at Eastern, and Eastern started letting students do personal curriculums, which led to a decrease in the number of students [taking] P.E. and Health classes,” said Ryan.

Ryan may be new to the position at Central, but is no stranger to the building and many members of the staff. Ryan has returned back to FHC after spending time teaching Health at Eastern, Northern, and originally holding the position of athletic director at Central.

There was no full time opportunity for Ryan to stay at FHE, so she moved to Northern Trails and Northern Middle, which was not her choice. Ryan worked at FHN for a while, but when former Health teacher Patrice Hartsoe retired, she took the opportunity to return to FHC.

“When Mrs. Hartsoe retired… I knew her quite well, and I heard through the grapevine she was retiring, so I applied for the job having 8 years of experience,” Ryan said.

Freshman Harry Hill, a student of Ryan’s, says that her experience shows through her teaching, and she knows Health very well.

Ryan says that much of the staff is unchanged from when she left, and feels that her knowing members of the staff has greatly helped in getting accustomed to her new position. Ryan has plans for changing the Health curriculum, and has been collaborating with Health teachers across the district in order to do so.

“We’re overhauling the Health curriculum a little bit, which is really exciting. Health is a dynamic subject, it changes, so we need to [change it],” Ryan said. “We’re looking to make Health [more uniform] across the schools. We have new projects, new powerpoints, and we’re going to have a lot of stuff online.”

Ryan enjoys using technology in the classroom, and says she is using services such as Remind. She believes that her collaboration with colleagues will lead to better and more fun activities and learning for students. Instead of the usual teaching techniques, Ryan says that she wants to to have different, more dynamic ways of teaching and having students work.

“She uses mostly technology. There isn’t any paper or pencils, which makes it [much easier] to stay organized,” Harry said.

Ryan will be using some of Hartsoe’s guest speakers for her teaching, but also has new ones ready to come in and talk in the class. She also believes that using speakers other than the teacher makes the learning more “real” and immersive.

Ryan loves teaching Health, and wants her students to be able to appreciate the subject, enjoy learning, and maybe even share her passion for it.

“I get up every [morning] and I’m really happy to have this job, and to teach my passion,” said Ryan.