By: St. Mary’s Ryken High School, Leonardtown, MD

Congratulations to Archdiocese of Washington (ADW) teachers of the year for St. Mary’s Ryken, Mr. Luke Young and Mr. Bryan Kerns. Both were celebrated during theHigh School Principal’s Associationmass last week.

Veteran Teacher of the Year at SMR: Mr. Luke Young, Theology Department and Student Government Association Moderator

Mr. Young was recognized as the2018-19Catholic High School Veteran Teacher of the Year for St. Mary’s Ryken. This award recognizes a veteran teacher from each Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Washington who embraces teaching as a ministry, proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and demonstrates respect for the Catholic identity and the charism of his/her school. Awardees possess the following characteristics:

Mr. Luke Young

  • Models a leadership style of respect to all members of the school community;
  • Manifests a desire for academic excellence through continuous personal and professional growth;
  • Assumes responsibility for development of the whole student;
  • Engages in teaching within and outside the classroom that fosters the God-given talents and gifts of every student; and
  • Seeks to transform students by responding to the Gospel call for peace and justice.
Mr. Luke Young, Veteran Teacher of the Year for St. Mary’s Ryken

Mr. Young is a member of the Theology department and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum in Rome.  Mr. Young is also the moderator of SMR’s Student Government Association.  Over the nine years he has been a faculty member, Luke has been a positive influence on the students he teaches as they are searching for the truth during their high school years.  Through Social Justice and Morality classes, Luke brings students closer to God by providing them tools to stay morally grounded as they make their personal path in the world.

A student government officer says, “Mr. Young gives us a framework for charitable leadership in Student Government and the opportunity to exercise that leadership for the good of the student body and school.”  Mr. Young exemplifies the Xaverian value of “Compassion” by being passionate about the things God is passionate about.  His department chair states, ” Through the coherence of what Luke teaches in the classroom with his personal witness, student’s lives are changed by authentically wrestling with the ‘big’ issues of being human.”  Nothing is more important then serving God through dedication to the pursuit of one’s vocation.  Mr. Young is happy to be teaching, and SMR is blessed to provide a platform for his vocation.

Novice Teacher of the Year at SMR: Mr. Bryan Kerns, Science Department, Assistant Football Coach, Summer Camp Teacher and Freshmen Summer Program Teacher

Mr. Kerns was recognized as the 2018-19Catholic High School New Teacher of the Year for St. Mary’s Ryken. This award recognizes a new teacher from each Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Washington who embraces teaching as a ministry, proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and demonstrates respect for the Catholic identity and the charism of his/her school. Awardees possess the following characteristics:

Mr. Bryan Kerns

  • Demonstrates a commitment to the spiritual growth of the school community;
  • Manifests a desire for academic excellence and commitment to professional standards;
  • Demonstrates pedagogical awareness that includes both generic and content-specific techniques;
  • Recognizes the necessity for development of the whole student; and
  • Cares deeply about the well being of students, earning the respect of both students and teachers, alike.
Mr. Bryan Kerns, Novice Teacher of the Year for St. Mary’s Ryken

Mr. Bryan Kerns graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. He currently teaches Conceptual Physics to freshmen, and Medical Interventions to juniors and seniors, as part of the Project Lead the Way Bio-medical science program. Mr. Kerns is very involved in the SMR community, serving as an Assistant Football coach, summer camp instructor and a teacher in the freshmen summer program. One of the student-athletes at SMR said, “He has high expectations and holds us accountable for our actions. He leads by example and his goal is to mold us into good men, not just on the field, but in life as well.” A parent states, “Mr. Kerns is very energetic and positive. My son still talks about him and all that he learned in summer camp.” Mr. Kerns epitomizes the Xaverian value of “Zeal” in his love for learning and transferring that zeal of learning to the young adults he impacts in the classroom and on the field.