Phone: (847) 451 - 3000 ext. 5395


Degrees and Certifications:

Masters of Education: Teaching and Learning: Secondary Bachelors of Arts with Honors: Social Sciences Major, Spanish Minor Teacher of ESL Approval Spanish Bilingual Education Approval Polish Bilingual Education Approval

Ms. Bernadette Ryan

My name is Bernadette Ryan.  I have been teaching in the Leyden Social Studies Department since 2000.  I received my Masters in Teaching and Learning for Secondary Education with a focus in the Social Sciences and my Bachelors in Social Sciences with a minor in Spanish from DePaul University in Chicago.  Go Blue Demons! I was born and raised on the southwest side of the city…actually very close to the "other" airport, Midway Airport.  My parents are both Polish immigrants.  I grew up speaking Polish and English and then eventually learned Spanish through high school and college.  I tried to learn German and Japanese but that didn’t go very well...

Regardless, my interest in different languages lead me to an interest in different cultures.  After studying for a semester in Madrid, I got the bug…the travel bug.  I have visited a number of countries including Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Japan, China, Mexico, and Jamaica.   I have also traveled throughout the United States including Alaska, Hawaii, California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and, of course, Washington D.C. 

After living and working as an English language teacher in Zakopane, Poland for one year,  I decided that teaching was the right career path for me.  I especially felt drawn to teaching immigrant students because of my personal experiences being raised by new immigrants to this country.   I find that working with immigrant students struggling with learning English as well as adapting to a new culture is very challenging and rewarding, especially at the high school level.  

My first teaching job was in the Chicago Public School System as a Transitional Bilingual Self-Contained 6th Grade teacher.  Eventually, I taught at ESL in Elk Grove Junior High.   Then, I found myself here at Leyden where I have taught Honors, Core, Academy and Sheltered Global Studies, Core and Sheltered Geography, Sheltered American Culture, Sheltered U.S. History, Western Civilization, and Beginner and Advanced ESL.

I am happily married to Edward Ryan…I was formally Bernadette Kopec.  We have three children: Joshua, Eddie, and Nina.  We live in Orland Park.