Millbrook Magnet High educator named Wake County Public School System 2024 Teacher of the Year

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Tuesday, May 7, 2024
Millbrook Magnet High educator named WCPSS 2024 Teacher of the Year
Ryan Berglund, a Sustainable Agriculture Academy teacher at Millbrook Magnet High, is the 2024 Wake County Public School System Teacher of the Year.

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A teacher at Millbrook Magnet High School was named 2024 Wake County Public School System Teacher of the Year on Monday evening.

Ryan Berglund has been a Millbrook Sustainable Agriculture Academy teacher since July 2019. He started teaching Career and Technical Education after working as a welder and equipment fabricator.

Berglund holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture education from the University of Mount Olive. His secret weapon is that he is the only agriculture teacher in North Carolina who is an AWS Certified Welding Inspector. He can provide students with a welding certification that industry professionals equate to passing the bar exam for a lawyer.

Under his mentorship, 64 students have become certified welders ready to enter the workforce upon graduation.

When sharing his approach to teaching, Berglund wrote, "Our students are able to build some amazing projects that show their true understanding of the objectives in the course. I always tell my students, 'I will not be there in the real world to tell you how to build it, you will have to figure it out.' This takes their understanding to a new level."

His experience with educational differences has shaped how he interacts with his students.

"In the third grade, I was diagnosed with dyslexia. In resource classes, I was able to see how students with disabilities have been given a different lens to look through that is not right or wrong, just different. This is a mindset I try to instill in all of my students," Berglund said.

Berglund is also a graduate of Millbrook High.

He said receiving this honor is just a product of great education and guidance he received when he was a freshman in 2009.

"There were some phenomenal Special Ed teachers that helped me out and go through some struggles that I had," Berglund said, "but also some amazing people that showed me the realms of what I wanted to do."

Jennifer Broadwell was one of those teachers.

"We worked through some of the disabilities when it came to written work, but his leadership skills were really able to shine through in the hands-on opportunities," she said. "We were able to see really quickly into that school that he was going to be our leader."

Berglund made it his mission to return to Millbrook and give back. He hopes more kids will discover the agricultural academy.

Students like 11th grader Josiah Saravia are following in his footsteps.

Saravia said he considered studying agriculture mechanics in college but has since pivoted.

"I guess kind of seeing (Berglund), and what he's done for me, has kind of led me toward agriculture education instead," he said, "and I hope to get an honor like this someday."

As Teacher of the Year, Berglund will get to participate in the Go Global NC international study program in the Netherlands during the summer of 2025. The trip is sponsored by the Dan Royster Memorial Teacher Award, in honor of a former WCPSS science teacher.

He will also have the opportunity to attend the Global Leaders Teacher Fellowship conference compliments of Participate Learning.

Berglund also received an engraved award, a $100 gift card to Angus Barn, a $1,000 check from sponsors, a weekend stay at the Umstead Hotel and Spa, a $100 Amazon gift card and even autographed hockey gear donated by the Carolina Hurricanes, among other prizes.

To top it off, he will also have the use of a 2024 Chevrolet Tahoe, compliments of Capital Chevrolet, for the next year.