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TERRIFIC TEACHER Ryan Estabrook, Geneva High School District 304

by Danielle Fitzpatrick Clark


Ryan Estabrook knows how to engage kids and takes a more active involvement during class. “As a student, I never learned well when a teacher would spend a large percentage of the class lecturing,” he explains.

Ryan has been teaching for 17 years, 11 of them at Geneva High School. During his 11 years at Geneva he’s taught several different levels of math from algebra through calculus. In order to help his students get the most out of his class, he emphasizes engaging the students through mathematical discussions and having them work through examples with their peers. “Most of my students view my class as very challenging, but I believe they enjoy the challenge and appreciate the opportunity to grow in their problem-solving and mathematical skills,” he says.

Not only is Ryan an excellent teacher, he’s also an outstanding soccer coach, having been selected as the 2014 recipient of the “Soccer Person of the Year” award from the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association. Ryan has been the head coach for the Geneva varsity boys soccer team for the past 11 years. He was selected by his coaching colleagues because of the positive impact he has on both fellow coaches and players. “This award means a lot to me as it isn’t merely a reflection of how successful my team is doing on the field, but rather the emphasis for this award is more altruistic in nature,” Ryan shares.


1. Favorite memory as a teacher?

I don’t know if there’s just one, but I do appreciate hearing from students who tell me that they enjoyed my class.

2. Favorite math assignment to give students?

When I taught calculus, I assigned the students to make a math music video. A lot of the students appreciated the ability to use their creativity within the mathematical setting.

3. Best quality you have as a teacher?

I think you’d have to ask my students. I’d like to think it’s my sense of humor, but my math jokes are admittedly pretty lame.

4. Favorite teacher saying or inspirational quote?

Though the intent of this quote is spiritual in nature, it applies to the long-range implications of education. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” ~Jim Elliot~

5. What class/subject would you teach if you didn’t teach Math?


by Danielle Fitzpatrick Clark, Photo by Lynn Logan

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