Staff Member of the Week: Mr. Dabney


Ryan Dabney

Mr. Dabney and his family in Chicago.

Tyler Hall, Reporter

During the morning announcements on Monday, Nov. 5, Ryan Dabney was recognized as the newest staff member of the week. While most teachers started teaching after college, Dabney says “This is my second year as a teacher but as a father of three as well as previous work experience as a trainer and manager, I have been teaching in some capacity since I was 17 years old.”

When discussing why he chose to teach, Dabney said “While my previous job paid well, it was not satisfying to go to work everyday to do the same thing.  It was essentially a never ending cycle so I never had that fulfilling feeling of seeing something through to completion.” This never ending cycle is what lead Dabney to pursue a more fulfilling career.

“In teaching, I get to see young adults grow and learn from their first day at West through graduation.  Besides all of that, I had accumulated 36 college credits towards a degree that were just sitting there so I figured I should use them for something.  I student taught at West during the 2020-2021 school year and instantly fell in love with the staff and students.  Ultimately, I just felt this is where I belonged and could accomplish the most good for others,” he shared.

For Dabney, the most memorable part of teaching is “Undoubtedly the students.  I have been fortunate to get to know my students in the extended core program but also many students in the general education setting.  I have made some great connections with a variety of students.  I can’t wait to see what life has in store for all of them on their journeys through life.” Dabney hopes to have a positive impact on his students, saying “Ultimately, I just hope to help each student realize that they have a purpose in life.  There is a reason they are here and whatever that reason may be, it is valid and important to all of the lives around them.”

In reflecting on how it felt to be recognized as the staff member of the week, Dabney said “Teaching is not something I got into for accolades or public recognition.  To have my efforts at West noticed and validated in this way has ultimately left me in awe. In addition to that, having my fellow staff members as well as the student body congratulate me in the hallways, I am left speechless and feel a reassuring boost to keep doing what I’m doing for as long as I am able to.”

Click here to nominate your favorite teacher for staff member of the week.