Foundational knowledge from Ripon College leads Bryant Bednarek ’08 in school administration
Community in all senses of the word helped Bryant Bednarek ’08 of Berlin, Wisconsin, choose Ripon College. The small, intimate class sizes, an athletic department rich in tradition and the sense of belonging he felt while visiting the campus all contributed to his decision.
Bednarek majored in educational studies and psychology at Ripon, and now is the assistant principal at Wautoma (Wisconsin) High School.
Of his transition into administration, he says, “I thought I would be a teacher for 40 years and ride off into the sunset, but I started taking on some leadership roles and found it very rewarding to be able to make an impact on a larger scale.”
His current position involves multiple responsibilities ranging from coordinating all state assessments to supervising and evaluating teachers, handling student discipline, and working with other administrators to create and carry out strategic growth plans. He also has served as an instructional technology coach, middle school science teacher and middle school at-risk instructor.
“I came from a family that valued education. I also feel strongly that today’s youths are in need of positive influences and role models from outside the home because many do not have a stable home environment,” he says. “I felt I could have a positive impact on many lives as an educator, and leave my mark through that.”
“I have found my career journey to be very fulfilling,” Bednarek says. “While I have learned so much since I left Ripon, I appreciate the foundational knowledge that I gained while I was there.”
Learning to balance a busy life at Ripon College is one of Bednarek’s greatest takeaways from his time here. The time-management skills he gained through his involvement in athletics, work, academics and a social life remain essential to him today in his roles as a husband, father of two, assistant principal and graduate student.
“All of those things are important to me, and because I was able to be involved in a variety of activities at Ripon I was set up for success when I left,” Bednarek says.
The people he met and the relationships he formed are among the most rewarding from his time at Ripon. “Not only did I meet my wife there, but I am still close with many friends, classmates and teammates from Ripon. We keep in touch about things both personally and professionally,” he says. “I also find it rewarding to go back and work with the educational studies department. I appreciate the opportunity to come back and share my knowledge and experience.”
Dakota Marlega ’21