© 2019 Ryan Weldon

Ryan Weldon

Ankeny School Board

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Meet Ryan

Thank you for visiting to learn more about me and what I will do as a member of the Ankeny School Board.

Two years ago my wife and I were faced with the decision to send our son to Kindergarten. Having both graduated from a small private Catholic High School, public education was unknown territory. 

After touring both private and public schools and visiting with local parents and educators, we felt most confident in sending our children to Ankeny Schools. 

I'm very thankful for the people who have led the way and made Ankeny Schools a positive and challenging educational environment. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to step up and serve to do the same for the future of our community. I am confident my experience, strengths, and personality will be a valuable addition to the Ankeny School Board.

It's no secret, Ankeny is growing! It is said that "Ankeny Schools grows by over 400 students per year." Our community will face points in the future where wise, strategic decisions made at the right time can make the difference between growing pains and growth barriers. Maintaining and strengthening the district's financial position in this process will dictate options in all other areas related to supporting our growth. There is no other issue more important than promoting sustainable, future-oriented growth because it impacts every area of our district. Influencing present-day decisions, with long term goals in mind, will be a top priority and focus of mine if given the opportunity to serve.

We live in a digital world offering unlimited potential and unknown risks. My experience with technology and digital marketing have provided me an education and unique perspective on the challenges we face as parents, business owners, employees, and digital citizens. Preparing our students for a future that will become more digital and offer more technology is not an easy task. Not only should we strive to offer students hands-on learning, but parents and teachers also need to work together in developing self-leadership and emotional intelligence in our children and teenagers so they understand what a healthy use of technology looks like for them. During that process, we also need to ensure we are providing a safe digital environment to protect students from virtual predators. I believe my experience gives me a unique perspective to positively influence this matter.

I've met many of our Teachers and Principals in Ankeny, they are amazing and impressive! They have no easy task educating and leading the multitude of students they are entrusted with every day. They have been trained and educated to be experts in their field. I don't know her personally, but I've come to appreciate and admire my son's first-grade teacher. She knew exactly how to challenge him and keep him interested and engaged in the classroom. Now, his second-grade teacher has the same gift. I've heard the same of many Ankeny teachers at all levels. It's not a coincidence. I believe they can do this because they are given the freedom to teach each child in that classroom in a way that is specific to their different needs and also meet the state education standards. Teachers at all levels should be able to adjust their teaching style to the individual needs of each student if appropriate, and I will support policies to that end.

My wife and I have lived in Ankeny since before we had our first child. If you asked me then about what was happening in the Ankeny School District, I would have looked like a deer in the headlights. In the last few years, I've been better at staying mildly informed. Over the last couple of years, I've been involved in the SIAC Committee and started going to school board meetings as I've desired to get more involved and serve in the community. The fact is, the information is out there if you go looking for it, but sometimes it's meaningless without the proper context. My goal as a member of the school board is to help bridge that gap between data and meaningful information. As we grow, our unity as a community will be strengthened if we are well informed and understand both sides of the discussion.