BHS Teacher of the Year

Ryan Sheridan

The factors that led me to become a teacher are my profound passion to help students achieve their dreams. In my former career as a law enforcement officer, I witnessed many youth that were involved in gangs, violence, narcotics, and criminal behavior. After arresting many young adults, I had an epiphany that I could help youth live better lives by making better life choices. I realized that I had a moral obligation to help the American youth become better citizens, realize their dreams, and avoid getting themselves into trouble.

So, I became an educator. Since I have been teaching, I have contributed greatly to help my students and have accomplished a significant amount in education. Specifically, I have mentored my students to acquire careers in mass communications, taken students with special needs and helped them become experts in mass communications, developed a student run morning show that airs to Belleville High School every morning, coordinated many beneficial trips that have given my underprivileged students (more than half of them receive free/reduced lunch) V.I.P. treatment-including special tours that are not available to the general public, led the Student Government Organization with creative projects that have benefited the community deeply.

It is difficult to pinpoint my greatest accomplishments and contributions in education because it is truly impossible to measure the broad impact of the aforementioned activities on the students. Frequently, Belleville alumni have visited my classrooms and reported to my students that the Mass Communications Program has opened up unimaginable doors in their live. For example, Alfredo Flores was hired by pop star Justin Beiber to be his right hand man in video production. Alfredo was interviewed by my students and his story was aired on WBHS to the community as a source of inspiration for Belleville students.

Another great accomplishment is spearheading projects that help underprivileged youth and youth with special needs participate in unbelievable activities. For example, my students have taken trips to meet many celebrities, visited the back stage of famous television shows and met their hosts, visited MetLife stadium met NFL Superbowl stars, and my students have become locally famous by running the morning news show to Belleville High School.

In closing, I have worked tirelessly with other top educators to help make the Belleville High School television studio into a top-notch student centered classroom that actually airs to over a million people in Northern New Jersey. My students love learning in our classroom because it is experiential, participatory, and student centered. Therefore, every student has a once in a lifetime opportunity-under my guidance- to reach their dreams in Mass Communications.