World According to Hayes


Anna Catlett

Ms. Hayes in her classroom.

Anna Catlett

One of the many new faces amongst Johnston High School teachers is Rylee Hayes, the world history teacher is in her first year of teaching. Her bubbly personality and positive energy have had an impact on many of her students.

Hayes loves getting to know her students, and interacting with them on a daily basis. This is easy to see in her classroom, as she always makes an effort to check in with her students. Whether it is helping them with their assignments, or asking them about their weekends, Hayes enjoys getting to know her students.

“My favorite [part about teaching] is just the students. I love getting to know all of you as individuals. Then spending the day with my amazing growing humans,” Hayes stated.

Hayes pushes positivity in her classroom, and has a goal for all her students.

“My goal for my students is to become really kind individuals,” Hayes said.

Hayes’ students believe she is an amazing educator because of the care she has for all that enter her classroom. 

“I like how she’s friendly to all her students…I feel like she’s a good teacher also because she makes sure people understand the lesson, she walks around the room helping kids all the time,” stated Akhila Nott, ‘25. 

There are some downsides to teaching as well, Hayes’ least favorite part about teaching is the administrative aspect. 

“The least part is sometimes the bureaucratic stuff, so like having to get this thing turned in on time. Different things like that, getting the work outside teaching is sometimes a lot. But, I think it gets better as you become more established in each class, but the first couple years of a new class can be pretty time-consuming. I think that’s maybe the biggest downside of teaching,” Hayes explained.

Hayes didn’t always want to become a teacher. Growing up, she aspired to be a variety of different things. 

“As a kid I wanted to be a hairdresser for a little bit, and then a spy because that obviously sounds really cool. Then I wanted to be a documentarian, that’s what I went to college originally for, but it turns out you don’t actually get to spend that much time making the movies. You have to like to go around to investors to get them to buy your movie, and that seemed really awful, and so I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore,” Hayes stated.

Eventually, Hayes realized teaching would be a good fit for her. She got her teaching degree from the University of Iowa.

“I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher for a really long time. I know I wanted to teach, partly because I just like to learn about everything. I always liked to do teaching type things, like with any job or class I was in. I spent some time trying to figure out what I wanted to do within teaching, and then finally I was like I should just be a teacher that would make the most sense,” Hayes said.

Hayes has a lot of things she enjoys doing outside of school. Her ideal weekend would be relaxing, and spending time with loved ones. 

“Usually I’ll spend some time lesson planning, unfortunately. But usually I’ll hang out with friends, and my family as well. A little bit of everything, just relax hopefully, that’s kind of like always my goal. Maybe bake or cook,” Hayes said.

She also has many hobbies she spends her free time on.

“I like to do pretty much anything outside, just being outside feels good. I like to rock climb, run, and garden. Taking up painting again, haven’t done that since high school so that’s exciting,” Hayes said. 

Hayes also played sports in high school, though she was mainly involved in activities.

“I played soccer my entire life, I guess not in college, it was definitely for fun. So soccer was my main thing, and I ran track as well for a couple years,” stated Hayes.

Growing up, one of Hayes’ biggest role models was her dad. 

“I would say my dad, he is just like a very generous person. I think that’s always my goal, is to be as generous and kind as I can be,” Hayes said.

Hayes likes to challenge herself and believes her proudest moments are times when she was able to do so.

“The thing I’m most proud of is when I kind of put myself out of the bubble, like out of my safety bubble. Going on trips by myself, or I ran a marathon one time and that was really hard, just things where I’ve challenged myself. I think that’s something you should try to do every day, but it can be really hard,” explained Hayes.

Traveling is something that Hayes really enjoys, in her lifetime she hopes to visit every continent. 

“I’d love to visit every country, not every country, maybe just every continent there’s a lot of countries,” said Hayes.

As stated earlier, Hayes cares a lot about her students. High school can be a difficult time, Hayes’ advice for kids is to stick with it and make connections with those around you.

“I think just trust the process, you’re not gonna know exactly what you want to be probably very early on. Just know that the people around you are there to support you, if you don’t find that then find some people to support you. Once you have that, whether or not everything is going right, you have people to fall back on to support you along the way. I think that’s really important because eventually, everything will turn out alright,” Hayes stated.

If Hayes had one thing she wanted those at JHS to know, it would be her dream retirement plan of owning a sheep farm. 

“My retirement plan is to have a sheep farm. Ideally neither like New Zealand or England because they both like very nice places, and also very good places for sheep. So, I’ve looked into this pretty well pretty deeply. More people know that I would like to retire and own a sheep farm,” said Hayes.