CLEVELAND — Throughout September, News 5 promises to feature teachers who go above and beyond for their students.
Last month, we received dozens of submissions from teachers worthy of a back-to-school surprise. After working with Meijer to take local educators on a back-to-school shopping trip, they’re continuing their kindness by continuing to give back to their instructors in Northeast Ohio.
Teachers are passionate about what they do and are dedicated to the students they teach. But sometimes learning extends beyond the classroom, and life teaches us the hardest lessons.
For Ryan Albright, a physical education teacher at Campus International School in Cleveland, the lessons he learned from his mother in life are circulating again.
“My mother always said, ‘I just love you,’ and that’s what I want from everyone, just love,” Albright said.
Albright has taught at Campus International since it opened in 2010. He can be seen greeting students as they get off the bus every morning and joking over breakfast.
“It’s the best school in the world for me,” said Albright. “Kids are the best. It’s just a magical place.”
But Campus International is more than just a place to teach. For Albright, it’s like a refuge that provides an outlet for the grief of losing his 11-year-old son, Luke.
“My son battled neuroblastoma for six years and it ended on June 17th of this year.
Luke was diagnosed when he was just three years old. Losing a child is a tragedy that parents are not prepared for, and the pain in their hearts can be overwhelming.
“It sucked,” said Albright.
But his students helped him heal, and Campus International became a place where he continued to spread the lessons his mother taught him as a child.
“They are my kids, an extension of these fourth graders. So when I see them, I see my kids,” Albright said.
Overcoming an unimaginable tragedy, Albright came to work every day with a smile on her face, inspiring staff and students alike.
“Whenever I go to a place where I feel like complaining about the little things, I think of Mr. Albright,” principal Julie Biers said. “I think it’s especially great that he’s teaching the kids the exact age of Luke. It’s just amazing to come to school every day and see the faces of the students my son’s age and still give it his all.” I think.”
Mr. Albright’s “just love” lesson proves that what you put out in life has a way of coming back. Fourth grade gym class starts her day with stretches and new activities, but not before showering her favorite teacher with chants and songs.
“They keep my day busy. My mind is busy. I love hugs. I love ‘We love you Mr. Albright.'” He’s still doing great things and I still love it,” he said.