New art and digital design teacher Ryan Schlater hopes to inspire expression and creativity


Ellen Vu

Prior to SCHS, Schlater co-taught at Christopher High School.

Ryan Schlater, a new art and digital design teacher at SCHS, hopes to unlock teenage creativity. He looks forward to helping high school students find outlets to express themselves.

“What I enjoy is being able to see their creativity when they’ve been struggling and then they can finally start doing something,” Schlater said. “They can start turning on their creativity.”

With a degree in both photography and art from San Jose State University, Schlater has eight years of teaching experience. Prior to teaching at SCHS, he taught alongside one of his  former high school teachers at Christopher High School in Gilroy.

“One of the teachers I had when I was at Gilroy, he ended up getting hired at Gilroy (CHS), and it was really funny,” Schlater said. “It was a very different relationship that I had with him as a colleague than I had with him as a student.”

Outside the classroom, Schlater enjoys the outdoors with his family. Along with his wife, he recently welcomed their eight-week old son into their lives. When his son is old enough, Schlater hopes to take him on adventures.

“I’m really excited,” Schlater said. “Eventually, when he’s old enough, he can go swimming, river rafting, cycling and traveling with us.”

Before parenthood, Schlater went on his own adventures in college, including traveling to the Caribbean. There he explored jungles along with archeology students and received hands-on experience looking for artifacts. 

“You always see these movies where you’re going through the jungle and you see the guy with a machete, and he’s just hacking the trees. It’s not like that,” Schlater said. “It was more like I was crawling on my hands and knees and digging because there’s just so much jungle.”

His exploration in the Caribbean also allowed him to take advantage of his scuba diving skills. During college, he had a high certification for scuba diving, allowing him to dive for artifacts on the trip. 

“Every other day, I was either diving, or I was in the field with the archaeology students,” Schlater said. “On the days I was diving, I was helping to find artifacts which were really cool.” 

Even though in his college years Schlater did not see teaching in his future, his professors believed a teaching career would suit him. His former teachers left a mark on his educational experience, inspiring him to pursue a job in education.  “I really enjoy what I do. I enjoy working with students,” Schlater said. “I enjoy seeing students be excited and inspired by the art projects that we do.”

 Schlater hopes to inspire his students to continue in art-related fields. He wants his students to leave his class with the ability to express themselves and reveal their creativity.

 “You might be showing your inner self through your art, or aspects of yourself that might be hidden,” Schlater said. “Creativity can be anything.”