New feature: Meet Our Students

Understanding and knowing each student so that we can better promote their well-being is one of our top priorities at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board. We are extremely proud of our students and we love to celebrate their accomplishments, and share their stories.

With that in mind, we are launching a new monthly web feature. Meet Our Students is an opportunity to showcase our senior students, and will allow them to reflect back and tell - in their own words - what it means to have been raised and educated in our Catholic schools.

Each student will talk about their school, their accomplishments, the challenges they have faced, the people who have influenced them, and how they have made a positive difference in their school and their community.

So meet Dylan Ryan

To see a list of previous students click here

Meet Dylan Ryan - St. Anne Catholic High School


My School

St. Anne to me, never really felt like a typical school. St. Anne to me, is my second home. When asked why I wanted to attend St. Anne after Grade 8, my immediate response was that I didn't really give it much thought. It was the place where all my friends were going, and what did I care, it was really only four years of my life. However, I was surprised. I did not realize that these four years were going to be the most important four years of my life. I expected to be an average student, but as time went on, within months, I started placing myself in different leadership positions. Over the years I began to see how much St. Anne has shaped me into who I want to become. This incredible school community has offered me so many opportunities that have allowed me to expand my horizons and make me realize how I want to be viewed by others. I now value the compliment of being a "leader."

Making a Positive Difference

The size of the action is never as important as the meaning. I have always valued this statement, because as a human, one quickly learns he has limitations. Although you cannot always perform the greatest feats, small deeds of kindness travel just as far, if not further. I am a very motivated individual who strives for change every day. Whether it is a huge task such as organizing a fundraiser, or even a smaller initiative, such as creating a new friend. I have made an impact through many school groups, such as sports teams, Student Council, Saints Soar, and in particular with in the Best Buddies program. I have made many friends in Best Buddies, and I am so thankful for everyone in the Life Skills room, for they have taught me the most important lesson of all: the small issues in life, can always be lightened by a friend and a smile.

My Biggest Challenge

My biggest weakness is definitely my lack of confidence. I have never had the ability to view myself as anything other than an average student. I dislike to see differences among people. Also, I do not like to see when people are upset due to their perceived separation from mainstream society. Throughout my years in school I have always focused on helping others reach their full potential, however I oftentimes forget to help myself. Although it's my biggest weakness, it's also my biggest strength. It always reminds me that I'm not the only one in the world with problems; and that every problem, no matter the situation, can be fixed. At times I still get in the habit of putting my needs aside. This weakness doesn't have an immediate fix. Over time I have worked on my weaknesses by assuming different leadership positions. They have helped build my confidence and to help others. Like some would say I was "hitting two birds with one stone."

My Accomplishments

  • Honour role
  • Student Of The Month for Kindness
  • Captain of the Junior Boys Soccer Team
  • 300 hours of volunteer service
  • Founder of 'Operation S.P.E.A.K.'- (Saints Purchasing Essential Apps for Knowledge) - A fundraiser to buy ipads for the Life Skills program or for individual non-verbal students who have Down Syndrome, with the purpose of giving all students a voice in the world.

The person that influenced me most

Ever since I was young I had one passion and that was to help people with autism. While growing up, just like anyone else I had many influential people in my life. But there was one individual in particular who from our first meeting impacted my life. This truly amazing person is Benjamin Powers. Growing up with Ben was clearly the most rewarding experience of my life. Ben teaches me lesson upon lesson, without ever saying a word. He embodies true respect and he was the inspiration that led to the creation of Operation S.P.E.A.K. Ben has an ipad that he uses to communicate his feelings and needs. After years of practice, and much support from his family, EA's, and friends, Ben has learned how to successfully use the ipad to speak his thoughts. This blessing made my friend and I realize that anything is possible and that all people deserve a voice in the world.