Former Weston High player / coach, Ryan Bond, focus of “Teacher Feature”

By: April Clark Honaker, Lincoln Parish Journal

Ryan Bond is well into year four of coaching boys’ basketball and teaching world geography at Ruston High School. Prior to Ruston High, Bond coached and taught a range of ages from pre-k to high school for 11 years at Weston High School in Jonesboro, La.

As a seasoned coach and educator, Bond brings a unique combination of experience and education to the classroom and the court.

After graduating from high school at Weston, Bond earned a Bachelor of Science in business management from Louisiana Tech University while playing on the men’s basketball team. Then, for 10 years, Bond played professional basketball overseas.

While earning his bachelor’s Bond had thought he would return to north Louisiana after playing professional ball and start a business of some kind. When Bond returned home from playing basketball, he was recovering from an injury when the assistant principal of Weston High School reached out to him with a request to help coach.

After serving there briefly as a volunteer coach and substitute, a position opened and Bond was hired full time at Weston. During that time, he earned an alternative teaching certification through Louisiana Tech.

Since being at Ruston High, Bond has also earned a master’s in educational leadership from Northwestern State University.

Given that Bond has traveled to 35 countries in Europe, he is able to bring some of his own experiences into the classroom while teaching world geography. “I talk a lot about Europe because I played basketball there,” he said. “It’s something different. It’s something unique.”

Bond likes to make his class fun and relatable and said, “It’s rewarding to see a kid say, ‘I want to go there.’ I tell them, ‘Go. Go to Paris. Go to Rome. Explore.”

Bond said it’s also rewarding to see his players be successful, and in many ways, the basketball court is like a classroom. “Coaching is teaching,” he said. “It’s mentoring, and I try to set a good example as far as how to conduct yourself, how to treat people, how you’ve got to leave an environment better than you found it and take care of your responsibilities in the classroom.”

Bond said he acts a little differently in the classroom than on the court. He’s a little softer and mellower in the classroom. “I want to make sure the kids are in a safe learning environment and that they want to come to class,” he said. If a kid is having a bad day, he wants to make it better.

“I’m here for them,” Bond said. “I want to try to help kids out. I’ll do anything I can to help them be successful. I believe kids want to be mentored. They want to be pushed. I believe they want to be the best versions of themselves.”

Since coming to Ruston High from Weston, Bond said, “The kids at Ruston have been tremendous.”

Everyone from the coworkers and administration to the counselors and janitors is awesome in Bond’s eyes. “I can’t say enough good things about Ruston High School,” he said.

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