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LFA News

Longtime LFA Faculty Member Steve Ryder to Retire After 37 Years

Longtime Lake Forest Academy faculty member Steve Ryder P'15, '17 announced his retirement at the end of this academic year. He has been a member of the LFA faculty for 37 years.

Steve earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Modern Languages from Cambridge University in England. During his tenure at the Academy, he has not only taught all levels of French, but also Russian and Latin.

He was the Modern and Classical Languages Department chair from 2009-2015, during which time he expanded the International Fair to include student-led classes. His love of football (soccer) led him to coach nearly every soccer team at LFA at one time or another. He also helped time in the swimming, cross country and track athletic programs.

As a member of the Academy’s residential staff, Steve served as the dorm head of Field and Warner, and also worked in Atlass and in Structured Study Hall. His interest in the Soviet Union/Russia took him there on school trips numerous times (once leading to an exchange with students and teachers from Lithuania), and led him to co-chair the Head of School Symposium on Russia. He also facilitated an exchange between LFA students and Swiss students in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Steve served on the first Faculty Advisory Committee and on the Salary Structure Committee. He took part in a faculty trip to South Korea and spent two summers teaching in rural China. He also participated in school trips to Brazil; Patagonia, Chile; St. Croix and New Mexico. He was honored with the Laima Salcius Faculty Award in 2000 and traveled to Besançon, France on a Mints Grant in 2005.

In recognition of his many years of amazing service to the Academy, Steve was named the A. John Huss Jr. '58 and Ruth S. Huss Chair in Humanities in 2017.

Perhaps most significantly, Steve has always been a music lover and fan of a little band from Liverpool. In 1986, he founded the student-faculty rock band "Fax Plus", which later changed its name to Co-ax. Over the years he has worked with countless students and colleagues, putting in long hours to make sure that the students have a great experience and that they put on a first-rate show every time. When you watch him perform with the students, you know that he is in his happy place. Fortunately, his guitar made appearances in the classroom, too. At his core, Steve is a kind and generous man who has always been deeply dedicated to student success.

Steve and his wife, Christine, (LFA’s Assistant Dean of Advancement) will continue to live close to the Academy in Lake Forest and are parents of two LFA graduates, Maddy ’15 and Andrew ’17. 

LFA is so appreciative of everything that Steve has given to the Academy and wishes him well in his retirement.