A long time member of our staff, Mr. Wryst, will be retiring at the end of the year. Working here for almost 30 years, he’s become a fixture in the school community.
Mr. Wryst grew up in Henrietta Township, Ohio, seven miles south of Lake Eerie; “I grew up next to a corn field,” he told me, where he worked every day for his family business, Henrietta Packaging. He moved to Athens, Ohio when he started going to Ohio University. At first he didn’t know what his major would be. He was studying zoology, and one of his friends was taking science classes. That moved him to take a chemistry class where, “everything clicked.” Then in 1993, Mr.Wryst joined us here at Federal Hocking. He was even our principal for a few years!
Originally Mr. Wryst was planning to retire earlier in the year, but he wanted to stay and continue helping his student teacher, Miss Cope. When asked what he would miss the most after leaving, he said he’s going to miss “just interacting with the kids and talking with teachers in the hallway.” The most important thing Wryst has learned while teaching here is, “I believe that you guys can be more than what you think you are able to, and I hope that I help you rise above and become a better person.”
Though he’s leaving, his adventure is not over. After Mr. Wryst retires he plans to ski, golf, buy a Tesla, and go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans one year for “Fat Tuesday!” During retirement, he will be able to spend more quality time with his dog “Princess Toasty.”
When I asked Mr. Wryst how he felt about retiring he told me, “I have been working my whole life, and I’m finally ready to just settle down.” At the end of this year, Wryst won’t only be leaving his students, he will be leaving fellow teachers and friends he’s been working alongside for years. Many will miss Mr. Wryst, having a teacher so engaged and optimistic about his students is an inspiring thing to have. Mr. Wryst shared with me at the end of the interview, “I just think you students have more potential than you give yourselves credit for, and I believe students need to learn to be positive, and have a little more faith in your ability to learn and faith in your teachers that will teach you well. I think you guys are a lot more capable than you think you are… You guys can do stuff. You just have to go out and do it.”