Editor's Note - Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 28 - Feb. 3) continues today and so does our special series that spotlights the amazing educators at Gibbons and what they learned from their equally-amazing students. The stories they share in their first-person accounts underscore that Catholic schools inspire students and educators alike to learn, serve, lead, and succeed, which is the theme of this year's celebration. Each day of Catholic Schools Week we will post one essay; and on this sixth day of the celebration English Educator Jim Ryan shares his story. Jim has taught at Gibbons for five years, and currently teaches Honors English and Yearbook to juniors. He is also head coach of the men's varsity basketball team and an assistant for men's varsity lacrosse. He is pictured above with some of his current students.
We were privileged to have eight seniors on last season's basketball team. I had grown extremely close to them both on and off the court. I was worried that there would be a void in our program once they left, but that was before they taught me about the meaning of the word legacy.
During Thanksgiving break we had our annual alumni game, where graduates return to school for a pick-up game. As I watched those former players interact with current players, I learned that even though our Crusaders leave us physically at graduation, the lessons learned in Father Price Gym will remain with them and will be passed down each year when those alums return. No teacher or coach could ask for a greater lesson or gift.
From my current students, I have learned that great literature can be enjoyed and appreciated even in this digital age where they are often overwhelmed by distractions.