Lincoln Pius X Catholic High School

Q&A with Ryan Hellem ’04

Ryan Hellem ’04 has been named the Principal of the Year by the Baltimore Sun in its Best of Howard magazine. Hellem is the principal at Resurrection-St. Paul School in Ellicott City, Maryland. Read below for more about his journey and passion for Catholic education, and see the article in the magazine.

Can you walk us through your teaching journey, and how long you’ve been an administrator, and how you ended up in Maryland?

I started out teaching HS History and coaching soccer at Mount Michael Benedictine in Elkhorn (2009-2011). In the summer of 2011 I moved out to Baltimore, MD to begin the Operation Teach program. Operation TEACH is an innovative two-year post-graduate service program that seeks to develop a corps of highly committed educators to meet the needs of children in Baltimore area Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Here in Maryland I taught HS History and coached boys soccer at St. Maria Goretti High School (2011-2013) and at Glenelg Country School (2013-2018) before transitioning to administration. I was Assistant Principal at St. John Regional Catholic School a PK-8 Catholic School in Frederick, MD (2018-2020) and then principal at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School (2020-2021) before it closed. Currently, I am in my second year at Resurrection-St. Paul School in Ellicott City, MD.

What do you love about Catholic education from a teaching and administration point of view?

I have always enjoyed the close-knit community that being in a Catholic school brings. Parents, teachers, coaches, administrators, and all community members are all working for the same goal and mission which is to form our students’ hearts, minds, and spirits. In short, we are simply trying to help children reach heaven.

What areas have you focused on to improve or grow Resurrection-St. Paul School?

We have a wonderful community that is engaged, supportive, and wants to be a part of their children’s learning and success. As we transition out of the pandemic, it has been important to me to build back the sense of community and belonging for not only the students, but parents as well. On top of that, we have a highly-skilled and innovative faculty that I have worked to support, trust, and empower. They are the ones who bring the magic to their lessons and create special moments each and every day.

Where did you attend K-8 school, and how did your own Catholic education impact you on your current journey?

I attended St. Peter’s Catholic School in Lincoln, NE (6-8).

My Catholic education provided me with the foundation academically, morally, and spiritually. Academically I was pushed and challenged to always give my best and think outside of the box. Morally I was formed to put others first, show compassion, and always do the right thing. Spiritually, I was provided opportunities to share my faith with others whether that was through a simple prayer at the beginning of a class or before a game — it was always the center of my academic experience even if I didn’t realize it at the time. Now, as a Catholic school leader, I can see and appreciate the gift that a Catholic education is for young people as they begin their life’s journey.

What memories do you have about Pius X?

I remember Thursday night prayer before football games, the time spent with friends at lunch, in the hallways, and at events, and the many teachers/coaches I had who inspired me to be an educator.

Ryan and his wife Christina

Pius X

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