Motivated by the importance of teaching young people to think, understand and read more deeply, Rita Jane Ryland Crow has enjoyed more than five decades as an educator. She originally wanted to be a lawyer, but developed an interest in teaching in school. She loves seeing that light bulb go on in students’ eyes when a subject clicks, and she is passionate about getting her students ready to face the real world. One of the things that separates Ms. Crow from her peers is her willingness to go beyond the curriculum to meet the needs of her students. She is particularly proud of the last AP course she taught; five of her students received the highest score possible. The ultimate highlights of her career, however, are when students come back to visit or write to express their gratitude for her role in their lives.
Most recently, Ms. Crow lent her talents to the Calhoun County Independent School District as a teacher. Prior to taking up the post in 2006, she was a teacher at the Kingsville Independent School District, the Cyril Independent School District, the Bridgecreek Independent School District, the Apache Independent School District, and the Uvalde Independent School District. Other positions include department chair of the Cyril Independent School District, presenter at the Caddo County Teachers Association, and secretary and president of the Association of Texas Professional Educators.
Ms. Crow prepared for her endeavors by earning a Master of Science in behavioral science at Cameron University in 1993 and a Bachelor of Arts in business from Sul Ross State University. She became certified by the Texas State Education Agency in 2003, and certified in provisional teaching by the Oklahoma Education Association in 1981. To remain connected to her peers, she joined Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional society for women educators.
In recognition of her achievements, Ms. Crow was honored as Teacher of the Year by the Texas Education Association in 2006 and the Oklahoma Education Association in 1995 and 1985. She was also featured in numerous volumes of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women. Ms. Crow attributes her success to always giving her all, and to her understanding of the learning process.
Looking to the future, Ms. Crow intends to write a book about her experiences. When she isn’t working, she enjoys scuba diving, painting, playing piano, walking, and spending time with her family.