We are very excited to welcome Justin Ryder as our next director of Upper School. He will join the Wolf Pack this summer.
Justin is a collaborative and progressive educational leader with over 15 years of experience in independent schools. He understands that to truly thrive, a school community must foster a sense of safety and belonging, develop meaningful and trusting relationships, and embrace the diversity of others.
Justin is passionate about faculty and leadership development, designing and facilitating workshops locally and internationally on project-based learning (PBL) and inclusive teaching practices, and building healthy organizational teams. He believes that being part of a school community is a process of learning from each other, and recognizes the importance of partnering with colleagues, parents and students to best support and advance the mission and values of TCS.
Before Justin officially becomes a part of the Pack, he answered questions from a few second grade student-reporters who contribute to their classroom newspaper.
- Why did you choose to work at TCS? (Walter)
I chose to work at TCS because I felt really connected to the school’s mission and values, such as the culture of diversity and inclusivity and how play and learning are both really important. I am also extremely grateful that TCS chose me!
- Have you ever had kids? If so, what are their names? (Yara, Jackie, Giuliana)
Yes, I have a daughter named Josephine (Josie). She is 8 years old and loves nature and reading like me!
- What is your favorite color? (Sophia)
My favorite color is green, specifically forest green. I always pick the green game piece when playing board games.
- Why did you want to work in schools? (Kingston)
I wanted to work in schools because I believe that education is a powerful tool for empowering individuals and building stronger communities.
- Are there any interesting things in your childhood? (Jackie)
When I was 10 years old I was on The Late Show with David Letterman when he came to my house and interviewed me in my driveway. I didn’t know the interview made it to the show until my baseball coach told me that he recognized me on TV!
- Why do you like working with kids? (Payton)
I like working with kids because they’re curious, creative, and always teaching me new things.
- How many schools have you worked at and what were your jobs? (Raelyn, Payton)
I have worked at two different schools: Mid-Peninsula High School in Menlo Park, CA and Brandon Hall School in Sandy Springs, GA. My jobs have been an admissions coordinator, classroom teacher (math and learning support), dean of faculty, and assistant head of school. I have really loved all of my jobs in schools for different reasons!
- Do you like to play games with kids? If so, what’s your favorite game? (Clark, Payton)
I definitely like to play games with my students, my daughter and her friends, and my nephews. My favorite games to play are chess, basketball, and charades.
- Do you have a twin? (DeMark)
I actually have two siblings, and we all share the same birthday. I’m a triplet!
- Do you like drawing? (Yara)
Yes. I like to draw cartoon characters, nature scenes, and block letters with shadows. My new favorite kind of drawing to do with my daughter is a guided drawing.
- Why is your job important? (Tye)
My job is important because I get to work with awesome people to help create a safe, nurturing, and challenging environment where kids can learn and grow.
- What makes you happy? (Payton)
There are so many things that make me happy! My family and spending time in nature bring me lots of joy. I also try to find happiness in little moments every day.