Feature Photo By: Dennae Pigford-Mr. Sladek helps junior Dante Craig with a question about an upcoming assignment. In this sociology class, they are currently preparing for a midterm exam.
By: Dennae Pigford, Review Staff
Optimistic and forthcoming, the inquisitive Mr. Ryan Sladek is not only Rangeview High School’s only sociology teacher, but he is also the Link Crew coordinator.
Widely renounced as one of the greater teachers at Rangeview by many students, Sladek started the sociology program at RHS just four years ago. He is also known for reshaping and revamping the school LINK program, a group of students that help freshmen deal with and assimilate to the buzz of high school.
“[He’s] one of the best teachers in the building and one of the best people I know,” exclaimed Mr. Snyder, one of Sladek’s Social Studies Department co workers.
In his spare time, Sladek enjoys fishing and camping as it serves as not only a bonding experience with his dad and uncle, but is also relaxing as it gets him away from the burnout of technology. On top of his outdoors activities, Sladek mentions that he likes to read or play the guitar after work.
“Mr. Sladek, in a lot of ways, reminds me of myself when I was younger, when I first started teaching,” says another one of his co workers, Mr. Corby, a U.S. history and psychology teacher at RHS. “Although, I think he is already a more mature and competent teacher.”
Describing himself as patient, understanding, stubborn, inquisitive, and optimistic, Sladek comes from Chicago, Illinois and graduated from the University of Iowa. He has been teaching for nearly seven years. Though he began his teachin
g career at West Aurora High School in Illinois, his career focus was not always on the teaching pathway.
With his college major in world history education and his minor in criminology, paths for Sladek along the way included career counseling and being an agent in the FBI.
“Doors open and you kind of just find your path,” mentioned Sladek.
Recently engaged and hoping for future children, Sladek is not only gratified by his peers but also praised by his students.
“The number one thing I appreciate about Mr. Sladek is that he has always been there for me,” says senior Jennifer Trejo. “He’s the only person at the school that I can go talk to.”
Sladek describes sociology classes as being everything you wanted to see in the world that you weren’t allowed to see. Preferring to work with millennials for their open minds, forgiving nature and accepting hearts, he characterizes his students to be inspiring.
“Teaching is more important now than ever because I know a lot of our kids are looking for those connections,” expressed Sladek. “Sometimes the teacher is that one person that can help connect.”
Not only does Sladek take pride in his everyday work, but he is also constantly trying to make sure his students are doing well and keeping connections with them and understanding them on a deeper level. Call it a sociology background or call it compassion, but he never forgets to “be kind to the unkind for they’re usually the ones who need it the most.”
“He is an extremely easy person talk to. He’s always ready to listen & give me advice when I need it. He keeps an open mind,” adds Trejo.
He has been said to see things the way that they can be instead of the way that they can’t be, an idealist of sorts. His personality and enthusiasm helps him connect well with students, according to Corby.
Always willing to learn and always finding some connection with each and every one of his students, Sladek always tries to instill into his students and live his own life by one quote: “If there is no wind, row.”