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Ryan Houck

English Department Chair - Appointed 2019

Graduate Degree

  • M.A. in Literature, Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College

Undergraduate Degree

  • B.A. in English, Cornell University

Activities in College

  • Editor of The Quad – A Literary Magazine
  • Rock Climbing/Backpacking
  • Swing Dance Troupe
  • Guerilla Tire-Swing hanging

Best VCS Moment

After playing Gray/Green games on opening day, I sat on the couch smiling, and a VCS student pulled out Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus. We chatted cheerfully about absurdity.

Inspirational Quote

“Granting that the White Whale fully incites the hearts of this my savage crew, and playing round their savageness even breeds a certain knight-errantism in them, still, while for the love of it they give chase to Moby Dick, they must also have food for their more common, daily appetites.” -Herman Melville

Hobbies and Interests

Rock climbing, running in the woods, cooking, painting, writing, reading, juggling.

Brief Biography

I moved often growing up. I left a little dust in Oklahoma, California, Texas, and Connecticut. After four years at Cornell University, I went to Colorado to teach English at a boarding school in Steamboat Springs. We took students rock climbing, backpacking, snow skiing, and international traveling. Then I traveled a little farther to teach at the American School of Doha, Qatar. I missed winter, so I returned to Connecticut to teach at King School for five years. Then, as I worked on my MA at Middlebury, I met Colleen. She said, “You haven’t lived winter until you’ve lived in Vermont.” So here I am. Happy at VCS. Setting down roots. We just had a daughter during the pandemic–Hooray for good news! Colleen and I both teach English and both read until our eyelids drop each night.

Scholarship. Community. Global Responsibility.

At Vermont Commons School, our goal is to engage students with their world. We achieve this through programs and a curriculum grounded in local and global involvement.