Ryan steps into board member role as lifelong educator

By Gary Scott on November 17, 2016 at 7:12am

In her role as School District 117’s newest board member, Jan Ryan brings extensive experience in the field of education.

Ryan was chosen by fellow board members earlier this month to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Cheryl Ballard.

Her resume includes more than two decades of teaching and administrative experience, most of which was spent in the local district. In addition to her time as principal of Turner Junior High, Ryan also taught and coached J’ettes at Jacksonville High School.

Ryan believes her familiarity with the district and educational background will have a positive impact on the board.

“It comes right down to what’s best for kids, and I’m hoping that my experience as an educator will give that perspective to the board. I’ve taught for twenty-one years, I was a coach, I was an assistant principal and a principal and I worked with mentoring programs. So I have a lot of experience, and I think that perspective is going to be important, that’s one of the things they said they were looking for when they chose me,” says Ryan.

Now retired, Ryan values her previous relationship as an employee of the district and looks forward to contributing as a board member.

“District 117 has been very good to me over the years and I’m looking forward to getting involved with the district once again. I’m very impressed with many of the things the superintendent and the board has accomplished. Lincoln is absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to see Turner. And I just want to be a part of that,” Ryan says.

While Ryan gets comfortable in her new role, the board is dealing with yet another vacancy. It was announced at Tuesday night’s board meeting that Libby White has moved to a residence outside of the district, thus making her ineligible to hold a board seat.

The board officially announced yesterday that they are seeking applications from citizens interested in serving out the remainder of White’s term, which expires in April of 2019.

Board members indicated at Tuesday night’s meeting that they would consider candidates that had applied for the seat Ryan now holds. Applications will be accepted through November 28th. The board hopes to make a selection by December 1st.