East Central Community College in Decatur recently announced Kevin Ryals of Louisville as the College’s 2012 Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher of the Year selection.
Each year, the Mississippi Humanities Council honors one faculty member from each of the state’s community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.
In recognition of his selection, Ryals will present a program titled “A Legacy of Teaching: Through the Generations” at 6:30 p.m., Monday, October 15, in Vickers Fine Arts Center Auditorium. During his presentation, he will discuss the rich legacy of teaching through the eyes of three different teachers whose lives span from 1879 to the present.
“There are several reasons I chose my topic,” Ryals said. “One is because of the impact many teachers have had on my life. Another reason is because of the love of preserving the past that my grandmother instilled in me. A final reason is because of the desire I have to be a positive influence on my students.”
Ryals, who teaches oral communications, joined the ECCC faculty in 2004 and previously served 11 years as a retirement planning specialist. In addition to his teaching duties, he has served as co- advisor for Students Against Destructive Decisions.
He was selected HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day: Working for Academic Excellence) Instructor of the Year in 2007 and represented East Central at the annual Lamplighter Conference, which honors outstanding community and junior college instructors, in 2008.
Ryals received the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Management from Mississippi State University in 1990 and the Master of Science Degree in Speech Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1992.
He is married to the former Shonna Harvey of Kosciusko, who is an English teacher at Kosciusio High School and also serves as an adjunct instructor at ECCC. They have a 15-year-old son, Peyton, who attends Kosciusko High School.
The Ryals are members of First Baptist Church, Louisville, where he serves as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. Kevin, Shonna and Peyton have traveled the last three summers to Jimbe, Peru, to do mission work and teach English classes.