LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Meghan Ryczek

Position: Kindergarten Teacher
School: Memorial Elementary School
School District: East Hampton Public Schools
City, State: East Hampton, CT

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Meghan Ryczek's nominator wishes to remain anonymous.

Every parent approaches their child’s first day of kindergarten with a mix of excitement and apprehension. The day signifies the beginning of an exciting, but unpredictable adventure. Mrs. Ryczek is a passionate and dedicated teacher who embraces every child as an individual and helps them develop the skills they need.

"What a wonderful experience it is to have a teacher that does just that each and every day of the school year," the nominator said.

Mrs. Ryczek's talents and skills as a teacher are beyond her years of experience because she makes every student feel special and loved. She has a natural connection with her kindergarten students and instils a sense of wonder and joy in them as learners. She creates a loving and supportive community where her students can choose to be anything they desire to be. 

Those who know Mrs. Ryczek are most impressed by her commitment to her students through her parent communication. After every school day, she emails the parents of her students to share the experiences of that day. She shares academic content, social skills, photos, daily adventures, and student progress. Mrs. Ryczek wants to make her students and families feel important and connected at all times.

"Meg has so many traits to celebrate, from her warmth and her humor, to her amazing skills as a teacher of reading, writing and math," the nominator said. "Her technical skill in the classroom is impressive - especially for a younger teacher. We could celebrate her creativity and the clever ways she engages her students in new learning by cultivating the belief that they are capable of anything. We could celebrate that she fosters a sense of persistence in her students - so critical to the Kindergarten level learner - and a sense that if they keep trying, they will get there…in their own way."

"We appreciate and are grateful for Meg’s love of learning and love of her students - she is an incredible asset to the East Hampton Public Schools," the nominator said.

Comments (28)

Mary Clark Posted over a year ago

Our daughter experienced tremendous growth as a student in Meg's classroom community. Her confidence, connection to her class & school community, and her academic skills all thrived in the nurturing environment Meg created and fostered throughout the school year. Teaching is such a challenging and demanding profession and Meg approaches it with a sense of wonder, a strong work ethic, and a clear sense of purpose to foster both healthy minds and hearts in her students. They mirror this right back to her. She creates change in the lives of her students each day!

Nancy Brodeur Posted over a year ago

We had the pleasure to work with Ms Ryczek. Our son was blessed to have had her as his kindergarten teacher. He still visits her daily and talks about all the wonderful things he did in class. Meg is exceptional and takes so much time to make her classroom a amazing place away from home for all her kiddos. She is sweet and easy to talk to about anything. This award fits her perfectly and any family or child that gets to experience a relationship with her is lucky. Thanks for all that you do!!!

Mindy Wilkie Posted over a year ago

Meg is a kind, compassionate lead learner who brings joy and wonder into her students' lives each day.

Melissa Alford Posted over a year ago

While my own children didn’t have Meg as a teacher, my younger one gets to experience some shared activities with Meg’s class. Meg is such a positive, empowering person. She always has a smile on her face and goes the extra mile for anyone. She truly is deserving of this recognition. East Hampton Public Schools are truly lucky to have someone as wonderful and dedicated as Meg! I am proud to know Meg and applaud her hard work.

Ian Lynch-Passarelli Posted over a year ago

It's hard to imagine Meg has only been teaching for several years, as she approaches her profession like someone with 20 years of experience. Meg is the kind of teacher who always has a genuine smile on her face, and who is always bringing smiles to the faces of everyone at school, whether it be administration, colleagues or students. Perhaps Meg's most extraordinary quality is the way she views herself as a lifelong learner. Meg sees the creativity, energy and wonder her students impart to her as just as important, if not more, than what she has to teach them.

Jen Krug Posted over a year ago

My daughter was in Meg’s kindergarten class 2 years ago and STILL talks about how much she loved her class! My daughter started her school career the best way possible; with a teacher as caring, energetic, creative, and supportive. She instilled a love for learning in my daughter. I volunteered often in her classroom and always noticed how patient and calm she always remained, even in difficult moments. Her love for her students was very apparent. Meg is most deserving of this award! She has certainly changed and effected my daughter as well as many other students lives.

Joey Bauer Posted over a year ago

Meg is an amazing educator and colleague. She approaches every challenge with optimism, enthusiasm, persistence and an eagerness to learn. She is an outstanding role model for her young learners. We're lucky to have her as part of the Memorial School team!

Laura Chretien Posted over a year ago

I couldn't have asked for a better kindergarten teacher for my child's first teacher. I told my son numerous times when hew as in kindergarten that he didn't know how lucky he was and that he was probably having the best teacher he will ever encounter. She had high expectations of each student in class and is able to meet each student at his or her level and move each student forward. Meg does this all while making learning fun. Meg has endless energy and compassion for each child. She really knows her students and their personal likes and dislikes. Meg puts in so much more time and effort in to her teaching than most. My son didn't even realize how hard he was working because he was having fun. This is the best possible start a parent can ask for in their child's education. If only we could clone Meg! I hope that my younger son will be so lucky to get Meg for a teacher when he starts kindergarten.

Anonymous Posted over a year ago

As a friend of Meg’s I get to hear about the challenging curriculum she is faced with teaching and the high expectations that are set for such young minds. Meg’s positive outlook and professionalism are truly amazing. If I lived in her district I would be honored to have her teach my kids.

Carey Beyor Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ryzcek was my son Alex's Kindergarten teacher last year. She connected with him in an exceptiinal way despite his shyness and even had intellectual talks with him about Star Wars! Alex made so much progress in her class! Thanks Meg!

Mandy Hines Posted over a year ago

I can’t think of a more deserving person to receive the Life Changer of the Year award than Meg! She has an incredible ability to connect with each and every one of her students as if they are the only one’s that matter.  It has been a true gift having both of my children in Meg’s kindergarten classroom. Her positive spirit, kind and generous heart mixed with her intelligence and fierce desire to create strong social connections with the families in her classroom, makes her a person many want to emulate. Meg has been a ‘life changer’ for our entire family. East Hampton School District is a better place because of Meg. We are so grateful for her. Thank you!  

Natalia Gregoire Posted over a year ago

Meg is my youngest daughter's teacher this year. Until 2017, our family only experienced half day kindergarten and we were worried about the new full day curriculum with no nap/long day etc. Ms.Ryczek from day 1 has made everything possible to make as smooth a transition as ever! My daughter loves school and is upset every Friday that she has 2 days of "rest" coming up. I cannot begin to express my gratitude when I receive the daily email from Meg about what the kids have done in the classroom. It takes enormous dedication to type such long and detailed letters EVERY single night and we as parents greatly appreciate it. Meg has definitely changed our daughter's view of school and life for the better. We are lucky to have her as our kindergarten teacher this year! Congratulations on the nomination!

Mary Silverman Posted over a year ago

Meghan, Even from your first days at Center, I could see a special teacher in the making! Congratulations!!

Sheri Labowski Posted over a year ago

As a colleague of Meghan, I can attest to her continuous professionalism and collegiality. She is always willing to share strategies with her colleagues. In addition, she is always eager to learn new things. She strategically puts new learned practices into place in her classroom. Her singular focus in all her work is the success of her students. I am honored to work with such a dedicated educator.

Amy Trowbridge Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Meghan! I told Hailey about this nomination and she is so excited for her “old first grade teacher” as 3 years later she still thinks about how great and amazing a teacher that you are!!!

Barbara Sandquist Posted over a year ago

My Grandchildren, Jenna and Jaksin are fortunate to have her as a teacher.. they love going to school.. I'm with them three days of the week and they are so excited to show me what they learned that day.

Maureen O’Sullivan Posted over a year ago

Congratulations!!! What a wonderful accomplishment!! Our district is lucky have you!!!

Samuel Cruz Posted over a year ago

My family had the pleasure of knowing Meghan first hand. Mrs. Ryczek was my daughters kindergarten teacher last year. Meghan is a wonderful teacher and an even better person. Her teacher skills come natural because she’s truly a great person. Her love for children and teaching are very noticeable at first sight. Just walk into her classroom and you will see. She goes above and beyond when learning each one of her kids individual strengths and teaches based on those specific strengths. Meghan is a teacher 24/7, not only between the hours of 8am and 5pm. Many of her crafts and school projects were planned and prepared during her own time and were purchased with her own money. She has definitely been a life changer for my family and we couldn’t thank her enough. Kudos to East Hampton for recruiting and attracting such great teachers! Congratulations on your nomination Mrs. Ryczek!

Brandy Gadoury Posted over a year ago

Meg has sky-high expectations for herself as a reflective learner, collaborative team member, active community member, and conscientious global citizen. She is relentless in her quest to determine the ideal combination of instructional strategies and motivational techniques to promote student learning and a classroom community that ALWAYS chooses kind. Meg is extraordinary because she never limits her effort to her classroom. She volunteers for everything! Meg touches hearts and changes lives as an inspiring colleague and teacher.

Maria DonAroma Posted over a year ago

My daughter had Meg Ryczek 2 years ago for Kindergarten, best teacher ever!!! Her communication is incredible and she is so loving and caring to all the students in her care!!! Best teacher ever!!!!

Rebecca Bellemare Posted over a year ago

Meg was an outstanding K teacher, full of energy and creativity. My daughter really enjoyed all aspects of her class. Meg got down and dirty with the kids. She even organized a class jog a thon and gave each child a medal. She also actually ran beside the kids. Her learning based projects and crafts were beautiful and are now forever keepsakes. I can't say enough good things about Meg and her passion for teaching. Thank you Mrs. R. Best, Becca Bellemare

Victoria Fielding Posted over a year ago

My daughter has Meghan this year for kindergarten. She has made the transition into full-day school as smooth and easy as can be. My daughter is excited to go to school every day and just loves Meghan. She is caring, kind, and patient, while at the same time holding her students to high standards and working with them to make sure everyone achieves to the best of their ability. She deserves this recognition!

Jack Herman Posted over a year ago

I know Meghan all of her life. Everything that I have read is so so true. She exemplifies the word teacher in every facet of life. Jack Herman

Angela Atkins Posted over a year ago

I could not agree more with the aforementioned comments about Meghan and her passion, dedication and skills in the classroom. I can also attest for her character and innate commitment to being an educator, outside of the classroom. She embodies being a lifelong learner and is constantly going above and beyond to exceed expectations for her students’ benefit. She works tirelessly to be prepared and deliver her best to her students. To impact others - one must lead themselves well first. Meghan is a balanced, inspiring and family-oriented woman. She is creative, fun-loving, detail-oriented, driven and constantly challenging herself in new ways. She leads by example inside and outside the classroom - changing the lives of all who are lucky enough to know her.

Donna Fazzino Posted over a year ago

It is so wonderful to hear about young dedicated teachers who make a difference every day.. Congratulations Meg.

Rina Johnson Posted over a year ago

Meg is such a gifted teacher. She is kind, she is positive and she is filled with so much practical wisdom...definitely beyond her years.

Cathy Steele Posted over a year ago

I don’t know Meg as a teacher but if she brings her strengths to the classroom I can understand being The nominee for Life changer of the year. Meg is strong, goal oriented and a fierce woman. A perfect example for today’s little girls and powerful women for our boys to respect. Meg is beautiful inside and out and I have always thought very highly of her. She can definitely be a Life Changer.

Leah O'Hearn Posted over a year ago

We are so fortunate to be part of Ms. R' s class!! She has such a positive energy for learning. She is so deserving of this.