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Ryan Kelly


Quaker Valley Middle School • Sewickley, Pennsylvania

How did teaching mathematical principles to small groups of underclassmen during his senior year of high school lead Ryan Kelly to a career as a middle school social studies teacher? That’s an interesting story, actually.

“I was asked to help these students prepare for their upcoming standardized math tests,” says Ryan. “As much as I enjoyed teaching mathematical principles, I knew that I would enjoy teaching a subject matter that I truly loved like American History even more!”

Ryan has been teaching for eight years, and currently teaches American History to 8th graders at Quaker Valley Middle School in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.

Ryan’s favorite BRI seminar was “The First Branch-Congress and the Constitution” in Pittsburgh two years ago. “It was my first formal introduction to BRI, and I was impressed with the quality of the resources and how they are designed with students in mind.”

As a Social Studies and U.S. History teacher, he finds his biggest challenge is the amount of misinformation in society today. Ryan welcomes the challenge, however. Moreover, he takes inspiration from some of the people from history he teaches about, especially George Washington, whom he sees as a “model for how to overcome difficulties.”

“There are numerous examples of Washington doing what is best for the nation rather than himself. Selflessness and resiliency are just two of his many character traits that are noble and worth aspiring to.”