Johnston High School - 6500 NW 100th St, Johnston, IA

The Black & White

Johnston High School - 6500 NW 100th St, Johnston, IA

The Black & White

Johnston High School - 6500 NW 100th St, Johnston, IA

The Black & White

World According to Hannah Ryan

Ryan’s passion for music and impact on the music department
Elizabeth L Reiher

Walking down the choir hallway you can hear beautiful music being sung by music teacher Hannah Ryan’s top choir, Cantus. Hannah Ryan has been teaching for 20 years, 19 of those years at Johnston, but she started her teaching career at Roosevelt High School where she fell in love with show choir. 

“I student taught at Roosevelt High School here in Des Moines and that was my first experience really with show choir, then I just sort of dove right in. There was a position that had opened up at Roosevelt High School, so my first year teaching was at Roosevelt where I did the varsity show choir there just for one year because the following year that position got cut, so I came to Johnston for my second year of teaching,” said Ryan. 

Most people are uncertain about what they want to pursue as a career, but Ryan has always known she wanted to be a music teacher.

“Music has always been a passion of mine, absolutely. I was one of those kids that started college and I was like, ‘I’m going to be a music teacher,’ and I didn’t sway from that. A lot of people change from that, but I just knew that that’s what I was going to do,” said Ryan. 

Cantus at Midwest Choral Directors Association in Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday, February 8.

Originally, Ryan wanted to teach elementary, but she went down a different path.

“I fell in love with the upper level because I love hard music and I love the students here. I love the music that I can do with them and everything,” said Ryan.

Cantus singer, Lani Bradley ‘24, recognizes Ryan’s dedication. “

Mrs. Ryan is an amazing teacher who encourages and fosters a love for music in every one of her students. She is great at teaching music and pushes us to be better musicians every day, yet still manages to make choir class so fun.

— Lani Bradley


Ryan also directs the mixed choir.

“I love getting to know them and even teaching them the basics that will help them become lifelong musicians,” said Ryan.

One of Ryan’s proudest accomplishments is her Cantus choir getting into the Midwest Choral Directors Association in Omaha. 

“Cantus’ trip to the Midwest Choral Directors Association in Omaha was a pinnacle event in my teaching career and it was something that I’ve dreamed about for years. You know, to have an ensemble and get accepted into something like that and not only that, but having a group of students who were so motivated and filled with joy in an experience like that. So that was really special,” said Ryan. 

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About the Contributors
Dory Holms
Dory Holms, Print Editor
Dory Holms is a junior in her second year of newspaper, and is currently the Print Editor. When she isn’t busy with school, work, or Irish Dance you can find her binge watching The Office for the 100th time, listening to music, or hanging out with her friends.
Allison Christensen
Allison Christensen, Editor-in-Chief
Allie Christensen is in her 3rd year of newspaper and is currently the editor-in-chief. In her freetime, Allie enjoys playing tennis, playing pickleball, and binge watching her comfort shows.

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