This week’s Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight features Brendan Ryan, Manager of Communications at Andrean High School. Ryan’s work at the school consists of maintaining the school website, writing for the weekly newsletter, the alumni publication, press releases and so much more. Ryan says that it’s his job to make sure people in the community and within the school get excited about the school.
Ryan is from St. John and went to Mount Carmel High School. He began at Andrean on an internship in grant writing while attending the Calumet College of Saint Joseph for Business and Organizational Writing. During his internship he worked on getting the Andrean email communication off the ground and building up the school’s website. After graduation in December of 2014, he was brought on to the communications department at the school.
Ryan gives credit for his success to all the professors at Calumet College of Saint Joseph for preparing him and instilling in him the importance of presenting himself in a professional way, which ultimately help him find success in his writing career.
Along with his duties in the communications department at the school, he also enjoys working with students in the school newspaper, the Acropolis Student News and the school year book to help students improve and develop their writing skills.
Ryan says that “sharing a passion for storytelling with the students” is a lot of fun. He likes to pair students together with different writing styles so that they can learn from each other and edit each other’s work.
“I want these kids to produce stuff that they will be really proud of,” said Ryan. “I want the kids here to constantly be writing. They are such talented writers.”
Ryan has a lot of plans this year with the students. He hopes to help the journalism students bring back the printed student newspaper to teach them about design and layout. He is also working on getting students involved with creating videos this year.
“We have a lot of students really savvy with video production.” said Ryan. “I want them to come join the newspaper.”
Ryan’s goal at Andrean is to get students to write about things they are interested and care about.
“I have found I get some of the most well written articles from students who write about something they love,” explained Ryan.
He doesn’t want them to feel like it’s homework. He wants the students to enjoy it. Ryan says that it’s important for them to write because the students have a lot to talk about.
For Ryan, journalism is a great way for all students to have a proper outlet for writing and to help them improve themselves, no matter what field they plan on going into. Journalism writing helps student pay attention to the facts, the who, what, when, where and why and then learning how to tell a story.
“Those are the skills that help break down bad habits of writing.” said Ryan.
In his spare time, he likes to catch up on his favorite TV shows, watch movies, read books and graphic novels, play pool and hang out with his friends.
Even though he writes a lot within the walls of the school, he likes to continue developing his writing skills in his spare time, often using the same practices he has his students do. He likes to write fiction and nonfiction while collaborating with a friend. They like to share ideas and edit each other’s work.
At the end of the day, Ryan has one goal in mind for Andrean High School and that is to make sure everything he writes is always telling a great story about the AHS.