February Student of the Month: Allison Ryan

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TIPTON, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Through a very busy schedule, 17-year-old Allison Ryan never lost sight of her dream. The Tipton Senior shines in several activities, but it's the classroom that's become the focus of her future.

Among her activities, she plays five sports: volleyball, basketball, track, softball and cheerleading. "I just have to prioritize my time," she says. "Obviously, school comes first, but then I have two-hour practices every night."

She's also in the National Honor Society, a volunteer for I-STEP, an anti-tobacco group, and a Big Sister to a second grader, which speaks to her love of working with kids. "I've always liked kids and my peers around me and working with kids."

Through a field experience class at Kirkwood Academy, Ryan spends a lot of time in Nicole Mahmens' kindergarten classroom at Tipton Elementary School. "All the kids, they know they can go to her, talk to her; she gives them the attention that they need," says Mahmens.

"They say some pretty interesting stuff and they're so loveable," says Ryan. "They're so loving to everyone; they're so loving and caring in kindergarten."

Teaching isn't just something Ryan does for fun, it's been her dream profession since she was in preschool. "The relationships I've made with my teachers has really helped me and also knowing that I want to be a teacher - I have my end goal in mind."

"We need more teachers in this profession, but also people who are excited to come in and teach every day," says Mahmens, who is thrilled to know Ryan wants to teach someday.

Ryan plans to study Elementary Education at the University of Iowa. She hopes to teach in a smaller school district once she graduates.