Ryan Suarez, Director of school culture and community life, 
August 2017

Ryan Suárez, middle school religion and science teacher at St. Peter’s Catholic School in San Francisco’s Mission District, will serve as the school’s Director of School Culture and Community Life starting in August.

Suárez brings a diverse set of experiences as an educator in schools throughout the United States and also internationally.  He grew up in East Los Angeles where he attended Catholic school.  Later, Suárez completed a Bachelor’s in Environmental Sciences and Spanish as well as a Master’s in Education at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.  

For the last three years, Suárez has been both a middle school science teacher and leader at St. Peter’s, implementing various programs and strategies to increase student learning and engagement in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math).  In addition to his teaching tenure at St. Peter’s, he taught science and math at the middle and high school levels in south Texas, Chicago, and San José.  Suárez also taught both English and Spanish internationally in Japan and Spain.

Suárez is currently a member of St. Peter’s STEM Team.  He and two colleagues were accepted into the first cohort of the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellowship program at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for STEM Education.  The mission of the STEM Teaching Fellows program is “focused on increasing student interest and learning in STEM disciplines through the support and growth of high-quality STEM teachers.”  

The St. Peter’s STEM Team has focused on increasing student engagement and access to STEM both in and out of the classroom.  In the last two years, Suárez and his team have launched a Robotics Club, Coding classes, Gardening and Urban Planning classes, tinkering classes, a school-wide STEM Fair and have seen an 80% increase in student interest and identification with science, technology, engineering and math.  

Suárez’s experience in the STEM teaching fellowship has “been so fruitful these last few years. Our overarching goal of increasing the number of students that identify themselves as people that can progress into STEM careers is very ambitious and extremely important for social equity’s sake. We are looking to change and influence the relationships and perceptions that students have with these subjects. Changing hearts and minds is not always the easiest task, but we are already off to a great start!”

Next year, Suárez will continue to teach some middle school science classes.  In his Director position, Suárez will oversee initiatives to strengthen and sustain a school-wide culture rooted in St. Peter’s mission to inspire our students to reach their highest academic potential and cultivate their passion for serving others.  He will help oversee all emotional and behavioral support systems for students, build and strengthen relationships with community organizations, supervise the Campus Ministry Team, and oversee STEM, science, and math instruction and programs.

In his new position, Suárez is excited “to serve a St. Peter’s community that has been thriving since 1878! With the help of this extremely rich community, I look forward to helping ensure that our students grow academically, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually in service of themselves and those around them.”