Latham Christian Academy is privileged to have four graduating seniors during the 2019 – 2020 school year. Several members of the Class of 2020 have attended LCA for a long time, and they have all become good friends during their time here. We will be highlighting one of the seniors each month in an article published in our Knightline newsletter. We begin this week with senior TJ Ryan.
TJ’s parents both grew up in Troy where they attended many of the same schools, including Troy High. TJ’s father studied at Hudson Valley and then transferred to SUNY Utica with a major in industrial technology, while his mother stayed local and attended Hudson Valley and studied criminal justice. TJ’s parents met through mutual friends at a restaurant in their hometown and have now been married for 24 years. Today, TJ’s father runs his own business, Ryan’s Painting, and his mother works for the New York State Comptroller’s Office.
TJ has an older sister, Macey, who graduated from LCA in the Class of 2017 and is now engaged to be married next year to her LCA classmate Matthew Heller. Macey works as an assistant teacher at an area daycare.
TJ has lived in only two homes growing up, first in North Greenbush and now in Brunswick. He has attended Brunswick Baptist Church for as long as he can remember.
His sister led him to Christ when he was about 7 years old. TJ was baptized at BBC when he was about 10 years old. TJ serves his church at their annual Family Fun Day each summer where he helps setup and run the games in this outreach ministry.
Mrs. Diggs remembers the fifth-grade TJ as a “goofball” who couldn’t seem to pronounce the word pistachio correctly! During that year with Mrs. Diggs, TJ was classmate’s Domenico’s constant sidekick! (In fact, the cover picture of LCA’s Facebook page still shows the two of them together!)
When he was asked for special memories, TJ at first demurred, saying, “It’s school!” TJ does, in fact, have many special memories from his years here at LCA, primarily focused on the people around him. Classmate and friend Mikael Flory is at the top of that list. TJ told us, “Mike is a good friend,” also referring to him as a “hippie” and “just a chill guy.” TJ and Mikael have been together at LCA since 9th grade.
Mr. Fry’s classes are also “very memorable” to TJ, remembering his classes as “crazy but great!” He will also remember Mrs. Walter as “just a good person,” noting that she “never gets angry no matter how many times you don’t do your homework. Not that I’ve been there. I’ve just seen it!” Mrs. Walter is simply “a great teacher,” in TJ’s words.
TJ also has an important piece of advice for the underclassmen and other younger students at LCA. “It might feel it is going slow at the moment, but it really goes fast. Tenth grade on feels like one year—it’s scary!” He encourages these younger students, “When you look back, you want to be able to say, ‘I tried my best.’”
After he graduates, TJ plans to get into an apprentice program with a trade union as a pipefitter, while continuing to work with his father on the side.
TJ’s life verse is 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”