2022 Mason Early Childhood Center Teacher of the Year

Courtney Ryan

Join us in congratulating Mason City Schools preschool teacher, Courtney Ryan, on being named the 2022 Mason Schools Foundation ‘Above and Beyond’ Teacher of the Year at Mason Early Childhood Center.

Courtney Ryan had no idea when one of her preschool students left for winter break that her life would be forever changed. Liviah Widders, a typical, healthy four-year-old student in the Octopus class was in sudden need of a liver transplant. From that point on, throughout Liviah’s unexpected medical journey, Ms. Courtney has been with her every step of the way. “Ms. Courtney lived our rollercoaster and was with us the entire way giving us support, asking questions, and even being so gracious to offer up herself as a potential living donor,” explained parents Jack and Liz Widders.

While in the hospital and after being discharged home it was a priority to Courtney Ryan that Liviah always felt part of the Octopus family, even if she couldn’t attend class in person. She provided the Widders Family with a list of iPad apps that Liviah enjoyed using to download. She also brought care packages to the hospital and had Liviah‘s class create a slideshow to cheer her up the day before her transplant. Ms. Courtney organized prayer groups, collected get well cards and always included Liviah in class lessons by sending home assignments with her older brother and having Liviah participate via zoom. “This is something she does not have to do, but we are extremely grateful that she incorporates Liviah in her daily instruction, said Jack Widders. “We’ve both witnessed Liviah’s spirits increase as she has been able to interact with all of her friends in her classroom and be a part of the Octopus class these last several months!”

Prior to Liviah’s recent return to the classroom, Ms. Courtney made sure she was up-to-date on all of her medical care needs while in class. This brought much comfort to Liviah’s parents, Jack and Liz. “She truly is a teacher that considers each child her own,” shared MECC Principal Melissa Bly. This is evident in all that she does in and out of the classroom for each and every one of her preschool students.

“Ms. Courtney is an invested teacher, not just for our daughter, but for every single Octopi in her classroom,” said Jack Widders. “It is all of these things and more that confirm that Ms. Courtney goes ‘above and beyond’ as our daughter’s teacher, and is extremely deserving of being recognized with the Mason Schools Foundation Teacher Recognition award for MECC!” All of us at MSF could not agree more! We were thrilled that Liviah was able to join her classmates and celebrate together the morning Ms. Courtney was surprised with her award!

🌟 Congratulations Ms. Courtney Ryan! 🌟

Collage of Courtney Ryan, her award, MSF board members, and students

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