When Sam Ryan dreamt about going to college, he saw himself playing for his school’s basketball team. Unfortunately, due to some injuries, plans changed.
“I consider the back pain a blessing in disguise because if I had never injured my back, I never would have experienced HU,” he said.
Sam transferred to Huntington University during his sophomore year after receiving the injury, and despite the disappointment, he found a greater love in the field of physical education.
Sam, a 2009 graduate, felt the professors at Huntington always had time for him whenever he needed advice or feedback on assignments. It was the high expectation they set for him and his peers that pushed them to become excellent educators.
“As teachers, we are responsible for the future in how we invest and teach our students,” Sam said. “My professors provided us with real scenarios and made this idea relevant.”
The professors got to know Sam by name, and he admired how they acknowledged him when they saw him outside the classroom at sporting events.
“It’s comforting as a student to have that tight-knit relationship with your professors,” he said.
Even though he was a commuter, Sam also developed a few close relationships with some of his classmates by involving himself in intramural basketball and intramural flag football teams and finding an on-campus job at the physical education center.
“It’s important for commuters to get involved and to meet a lot of new people,” he said. "Otherwise, I would have come to class and went home without actually meeting anyone."
Once Sam finished his time student teaching, he learned of a job opening in Wells County, Ind., at Norwell High School as a part-time weights, fitness and advanced physical education teacher. The former teacher had retired, and Sam found the timing opportune.
A year later during the 2009-2010 school year, Sam found a full-time job in Wabash, Ind., to teach seventh grade science as well as seventh grade and freshmen health classes. The following year he was transferred to Southwood High School, also in Wabash, to teach seventh through 12th grade girls physical education and advanced health. He also coaches the seventh grade boys basketball team.
“I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I had at Huntington had my back not been injured,” Sam said. “God clearly had a plan for me when he brought me to Huntington.”
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