Dave Ryles · 4 January 2007

I must bring a bit of attention to a man who has had an impact on many lives during his thirty years in the Riverview School District. A humble man like Dave Ryles would not really like that I was writing about him but I must. He would say thank you for the nice words and such but would not really like the attention that an article about him might bring. Dave is like that. He is a behind the scenes guy. He does his job quietly and effectively without bringing too much attention to himself.

During twenty-seven of his thirty years in the Riverview School District, Dave was also a talent scout for the Philadelphia Phillies. He traveled around the state and beyond looking for baseball players to fill the Phillies’ roster. Recently, Dave got a new position with the Phillies which led him to retire from teaching toward the end of September. After announcing that he had taken his new job, Dave tried to quietly slip out the door at Cedarcrest without any fanfare but I would be remiss if I did not say a few words about the quiet man who meant so much to so many for so many years.

Dave has been a fixture at Cedarcrest High School since it opened and before that at Tolt High School. He taught PE, math, science, and just about anything else that the schools needed him to teach. He was a football and basketball coach.

On the football field, Dave was an excellent coach who could have taken the reins of the program and had year after year of great success. Instead, he chose to remain in the background and help the team in other ways, working with student athletes to help them develop their full potential on and off the field. He has always been the one the players look to when they need words of encouragement whether on the field during practice or on the sideline during games or even in the hallways during school. For years he was a fixture on the sideline but the past couple years, people did not see Dave much at games because he has been the guy in the booth above the crowd giving advice to the coaches on the field. He likes to be in the background helping in unseen ways, lifting up his fellow coaches and players alike.

Dave was a cheerleader and supporter in the classroom and around the school as well as on the field or court. He would probably deny it but Linda Bjornsen, the Head Secretary at Cedarcrest, and others say that he helped students in ways that most people only talk about doing. He helped students buy flowers and rent tuxedos. He helped others buy shoes and clothes for school. Countless dance tickets, including homecoming and prom, were bought anonymously by Dave. There are more stories of his generosity than can be recounted but Dave would probably say that he does not remember any or that he never did such things. Dave was always denying that he was more than just a teacher and coach and yet when students come to visit, they invariably look for Ryles.

People come and people go in any organization. I have heard it said that one person makes as much lasting impression on an organization as a finger in a glass of water but Dave Ryles has made countless lasting impressions on those who have worked with, been taught by, or been coached by him. He has been a coach, encourager, and friend to students and faculty in the Riverview School district for thirty years and we will miss his presence here. Thank you for the years you have invested into our lives. Enjoy this next phase of your incredible life. Now it is our turn to be your cheerleaders and supporters by saying, “Go Dave!”

© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published 04 January 2007 The RiverCurrentNews


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