Phone: 224-632-3122


Degrees and Certifications:

AA, College of DuPage BA, Elmhurst College MA, Elmhurst College MA, Olivet Nazarene University EdD, Aurora University (in progress)

Mr. Ryan Leist

I am so excited to begin my sixth year at Deerfield High School!  Below is some background information about me.

Philosophical Roots

Then I look into my students'  faces, and they look solemnly back at  me.  "So why does our writing matter, again?" they ask.

Because of the spirit, I say.  Because of the heart.  Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation.  They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life:  they feed the soul.  When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored.  We are given a shot  at dancing with, or at least at clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again.  It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea.  You can't stop the raging storm, but singing can  change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.

Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird:  Some Instructions on Writing and Life.


AA, General Studies: College of DuPage
BA, English/Secondary Education: Elmhurst College
MA, English Studies: Elmhurst College (Thesis: The Role of Women in Stephen King Novels)
MA, Educational Leadership: Olivet Nazarene University
EdD, Curriculum and Instruction: Aurora Univeristy (in progress)

Books I've enjoyed recently

The Girl On the Train (P. Hawkins)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (P. Highsmith)
Learning in the Fast Lane
(S. Pepper Rollins)
Readicide (K. Gallagher)
Rosemary's Baby (I. Levin)

Favorite authors and poets (at the moment)

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Stephen King
Charles Dickens
Kurt Vonnegut
Ray Bradbury
William Faulkner

My Bucket List

1.) Travel to countries in Africa and Asia
2.) Meet someone famous
3.) Learn about massage therapy
4.) Work with my dad to build a rat rod or a roadster
5.) Visit the east coast and watch the leaves change during the fall
6.) Become a renowned  philanthropist
7.) Take a cooking and/or cake decorating class
8.) Be a part of a movie--director, producer, or even an actor!
9.) Publish a book, screenplay, or play
10.) Earn a PhD or EdD in English or education