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Father Ryan High School

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Father Ryan High School

Father Ryan High School
700 Norwood Drive
Nashville, Tennessee, (Davidson County), 37204
United States
Motto A Tradition of Faith, Knowledge, Service.
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1925
President Jim McIntyre
Principal Paul Davis
Vice principal Sara Hayes
Chaplain Rev Nicholas Allen
Faculty 101
Grades 912
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 910 (2010)
Color(s) Purple and White         
Team name Irish
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Newspaper 'The Moina'
Yearbook 'Irish Pride'
Feeder schools St. Henry School, Christ The King School, St. Ann School, St. Pius X School, St. Joseph School, St. Edward School, Holy Rosary Academy, St. Bernard Academy, Overbrook School, St. Matthew School, St. Rose of Lima School
Dean of Campus Ministry Tim Forbes
Dean of Students Michael La Haie
Dean of Academics Sara Hayes
Athletic Director Pat Lawson
Admissions Director Kate Goetzinger

Father Ryan High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1925, it is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville and named for Father Abram J. Ryan.


Father Ryan High School's first campus was at 2300 Elliston Place, which was dedicated in 1929. Father Ryan remained here for 62 years and expanded twice, but eventually it outgrew these facilities and during the summer of 1991 relocated to its present home on Norwood Drive in the Oak Hill area of Nashville, TN.[2]

This 40-acre (160,000 m2) site includes an academic building containing computer labs, science labs, and many classrooms. There is also an administrative cloister building featuring art and drama rooms, band room, dining hall, and the St. James Chapel. The field house features three full size basketball courts, a wrestling room, workout areas, locker rooms, and coaching offices. The spacious site also has softball, baseball, soccer, football fields and a track. Recent additions include a freestanding Library and Center for the Arts. Tennessean editor emeritus John Seigenthaler, a 1945 alumnus, said of the new campus, "In moving from one part of town to another, in expanding the campus to what looks like a junior college, Father Ryan was ahead of the curve. And now again, with these dramatic changes, Father Ryan is making its students better prepared than ever to live, work, and thrive in a changing world."[3]

In the fall of 2009 Father Ryan's first ever on-campus football stadium – Giacosa Stadium at the Jim Carell Alumni Athletic Complex – opened. Father Ryan played their first home game against Hillwood High School and won 42-0. The Irish finished the season 5-1 at Giacosa Stadium and also hosted their first-ever playoff game against Briarcrest Christian School in November 2009, a 45-35 victory.

There are several remnants of Father Ryan's first campus scattered throughout the campus on Norwood Drive. The doors to the new library, parts of the grotto, parts of the statue of Jesus and Father Ryan students, and objects in the main office are all from the original campus on Elliston Place.


Father Ryan High School is a college-preparatory secondary school. Core courses in English, mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign languages are supplemented by a variety of electives. Father Ryan offers its students courses at five levels (Cooperative Support, College Preparatory, Advanced, Honors, and Advanced Placement).

Student selection for Advanced, Honors and Advanced Placement courses is based upon successful completion of prerequisite courses, teacher recommendations and standardized test scores. Twenty Advanced Placement courses are offered.

Beginning with 2006–2007 school year, Father Ryan replaced its traditional six to seven period day with block scheduling. Block scheduling allows students to earn a maximum of eight credits per year by extending class time to include four classes each day. This extended time allows students to become involved in the learning process by promoting independent, critical thinking as opposed to the mere acquisition of knowledge.

The minimum number of credits required for graduation is 25. The credits must be earned in the following distribution: 4 credits Theology (one for each year enrolled at Father Ryan), 4 credits English, 4 credits Mathematics, 2 credits Social Studies (one must be U.S. History), 3 credits Science (recommended one Physical and one Biological), 2 credits Foreign Language (the same Foreign Language), 1 credit Physical Education, 1 credit Fine Arts, ½ credit Health, ½ credit Technology, and enough elective credits to meet total requirements.

Student life

Student activities include student government, honor societies, subject area and interest clubs, student publications, theater, speech and debate, choral music and band are available on the Ryan campus. In addition, numerous community service programs exist.

Father Ryan's variety of student groups include: Environmental Awareness Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Council, Spanish Club, Forensics, Future Teachers of America, Junior Classical League(Latin Club), Science Olympiad, The Science Academy, the Gadfly creative arts magazine, Irish Pride yearbook staff, The Moina newspaper staff, Chess Club, Climbing Club, Photography Club, Skateboarding Club, Competition Dance Team, Performance dance team, Father Ryan Singers, Music Ministry, Purple Masque Players, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, Youth Legislature and more.

Honor Societies at Father Ryan include: Father Black Honor Society, National Honor Society, Cum Laude Society, French Honor Society, Latin Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.

Band and Instrumental Music Programs

Father Ryan's music programs have enjoyed much success in recent years. Students are consistently successful in solo and ensemble, mid-state, and all-state performances; and the marching band, winter drumline, and winterguard regularly win or place in state, regional, national, and world championships.

The Father Ryan Marching Band has won the prestigious Small Division Mayor's Cup at the Music City Invitational 11 times – a feat no other band can claim – and was named the overall Grand Champion in 2011. The band was named the Grand Champion of the Bands of America (BOA) Jacksonville Regional in 2011. They are only the second band in 26 years from the state of Tennessee to win a BOA regional competition. The band is also a five-time BOA Regional finalist, a two-time BOA Regional class champion, and a two-time BOA Grand National semi-finalist. In 2008 they were runners-up for the BOA Class A Grand National Championship.

The Father Ryan Winter Drumline is a three-time World Champion and has made the finals at every Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championship except 2010. The winter drumline was invited on a tour of Europe for 2008 by sponsors Dynasty USA and Muremo Music in Europe. They performed at the 2008 Indoor Percussion Europe (IPE) Championships and at clinics and shows throughout Europe. The Winter Drumline did not compete in the 2011 season.[4]

The Father Ryan Winterguard has won the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit (SCGC) Scholastic A Championship for the past two years – 2010 and 2011.[5]

The Band Directors are Jeff Schletzer (who also serves as Fine Arts Chairman), Jeremy Frey, Derek Schletzer, and Dustin Schletzer.[6]

On April 18, 2011 it was announced that the Father Ryan Marching Band was chosen from over 150 applicants to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to be held on November 22, 2012. Macy's parade director, Bill Schermerhorn, came to Father Ryan and announced that the group has been selected as one of only 11 bands in the nation to perform in the 2012 Parade.[7] The parade organizers invited three members of the Father Ryan Drumline to participate in the opening of the 2013 Macy's Day Parade.[8]


Father Ryan is a member of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association and Division II Class AA E/M Region. The Father Ryan athletic program includes a variety of competitive sports activities including football, basketball, soccer, golf, baseball, track, cross country, volleyball, golf, swimming & diving, tennis, softball, wrestling, lacrosse, ice hockey, bowling, cheerleading and rugby. Father Ryan sports teams have won a total of 49 state championships since 1927.

Accreditations and affiliations

Accredited By: Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Father Ryan was the first school in the Southeast region receive dual accreditation from these two organizations. Membership In:

Notable alumni

Miscellaneous facts

  • The St. James chapel, where daily mass is held, faces east toward the rising sun and is located at the geographical center of the campus. The four pillars inside represent the four biblical gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The twelve stations of the cross surrounding the sanctuary were donated by the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville. The three banners hanging from the ceiling represent the Holy Trinity and change colors to represent the current liturgical season.
  • The doors leading into the foyer of the Neuhoff Library are the former front doors of the old Father Ryan High School located on Elliston Place.
  • A Hampton Inn hotel was built on the site of the original school in the mid-1990s, now with the address of 2330 Elliston Place. The fireplace in the hotel's lobby is built from bricks that were part of that original school.


  1. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  2. ^ Father Ryan High School: History
  3. ^ Father Ryan High School: Athletics History
  4. ^ Father Ryan Instrumental Music and Band Programs
  5. ^ Southeastern Color Guard Circuit
  6. ^ Father Ryan Band Bulletins
  7. ^ Father Ryan High School: Band
  8. ^ "3 Father Ryan drumline members in Macy's parade",, 29 November 2013

External links

Father Ryan High School

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