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Making a Difference – Inmates teach important literacy lesson

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Ryan Dubois goes over test procedures with his BRMS English students.

Peggy Bradfield
Leader Staff Writer

His father was a school guidance councilor, his mother was a 5th and 6th grade gifted and talented teacher. In addition, his sisters are a special education teacher and a school psychologist. So, obviously Ryan Dubois was never going to be a teacher.

That changed after he worked as a prison guard in Texas. “Seventy percent of the offenders [in that Texas prison] were considered illiterate,” Dubois said. He had always done well in English classes, but he said they were not his favorite. But after seeing firsthand the face of illiteracy, he wanted to make a difference. He wanted to keep people out of prison and equip them with life skills. So, he overcame his former educator phobia and studied to become an English teacher.

Dubois was selected as this month’s teacher feature from Bear River Middle School. He and his wife Jessica moved to the area three years ago. He taught sophomore and senior English previously at Riverton High School, and coached the school’s soccer team. When Jordan School District started making the employees pay for their own health insurance, Dubois and his wife Jessica knew it was time to move on.

(For the rest of this story, pick up a copy of the Leader or subscribe by calling 435-257-5182.)


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