The Legacy Left by an Inspiring Teacher

Mr. Rohrbaugh, Mr. Walker, Mrs. Bryner, and Mrs. Kuhn took a trip to New York City with the National Honor Society for their yearly trip.  The students decide as a whole where they would like to go for their three-day trip.

Mr. Rohrbaugh, Mr. Walker, Mrs. Bryner, and Mrs. Kuhn took a trip to New York City with the National Honor Society for their yearly trip. The students decide as a whole where they would like to go for their three-day trip.

Anne Dalton , Managing Editor

As the 2017-2018 school year came to end, students and teachers were looking forward to the summer, especially Mrs. Bryner.  After 16 years of working as a teacher in the Greater Latrobe School District, Mrs. Bryner decided it was time to retire despite the love she had for teaching.  

She valued education tremendously as she fulfilled a teaching career of 34 years.  Prior to being a part of the Greater Latrobe School District, she taught 6 years at Laurel Highlands Senior High School in Uniontown, PA.  She then spent another 12 years teaching at Greensburg Central Catholic High School before coming to Latrobe. Aside from that, she was also a math specialist at Sylvan Learning Center in Greensburg.

The most inspiring quality about Mrs. Bryner was her commitment to her students and learning.   She stayed after school every day for at least an hour to help students with their math homework, test preparation, and SAT math prep.  Mrs. Bryner said, “How excited I was to see them progress by leaps and bounds!” She wanted to see success from her students and did everything she could to do that for each one of them.

Her uplifting spirit rubbed off on all of her students.  She knew everyone was capable of being successful no matter what.  “She was always willing to come in at 6am and stay until 4pm if you needed help,” Joyce Yin said.  “Her humor, wisdom, and mother-like personality kept me going and was the highlight to my school day.”

Mrs. Bryner was the most genuine person ever.  Her kind heart never failed and that was apparent each and every day.  She was the perfect role model to have for the students at Greater Latrobe.  Nothing negative was ever heard from her or about her. She was always happy because being able to teach was an honor.

“I’ll miss seeing Mrs. Bryner’s smiling face when I walked in the room each day and her telling me it would be okay whenever I did not do well on her tests,” said Eve O’Sullivan.

She was actively involved in all of the schools she worked at, but specifically Greater Latrobe.  She organized the Math Student of the Month program, which recognized students who excelled in math or improved tremendously.

During Christmas Time, she always looked forward to decorating the Math Christmas Tree.  It was extra special because all of the decorations were made by students and related to mathematical equations.  

She is sure Mrs. Vinsick and Mrs. Shannon will continue the tradition knowing how much it meant to her.  

Pi Day was another one of her favorite days.  She loved setting up in the CSC and seeing the students learn, but yet have fun.  Many students do not realize how much Pi is used daily from cutting a pizza to biochemists see pi when trying to understand the structure/function of DNA, yet she opened their eyes.

Mrs. Bryner loved to be surprised when her former students came back to visit from college.    

She was a big help during college decision season as she shared her own story of obtaining her degree.  She earned a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Chemistry from Waynesburg University (summa cum laude, Valedictorian Class of 1976) and also attained a Masters of Arts  in Mathematics from West Virginia University.

The students never fail to say how much she prepared them.  Most commonly she hears, “Mrs. Bryner, I have never felt so over prepared in my life,” but it is not a bad thing.  Even though her classes were challenging, they were structured like that to help students feel as if they were in a college class.  She always provided the stepping stones to success, yet was there for any road bumps in the way.

Eve O’Sullivan said, “Mrs. Bryner impacted me by always encouraging me in class and during tutoring to never give up.  She never gave up on me no matter how lost I was.”

Mrs. Bryner wanted to see and hear about goals being accomplished.  She did not care about receiving credit for what she has done, she cared about the students becoming more knowledgeable.

In her retirement, she continues to enjoy her life residing in Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania.  Shortly, she plans to move to Harrisonburg, Virginia to be closer to her family. She has two daughters, Rachel and Alyssa, a son in law named Phil, and another soon to be son-in-law, Patrick.

Her 2 year old grandson, Everett, has so much energy and keeps her quite busy.  

Even though she is retired, she does plan to keep herself occupied.  Once she settles into her home, she would like to tutor at James Madison University and Eastern Mennonite University.  Long term plans include her earning a Doctor of Education (EdD) in secondary mathematics education.

In addition to her plans in Virginia, she has planned to leave a paw print at Greater Latrobe.  She worked alongside her two Algebra II classes and two Master Gardeners during the 2016-2017 school year to create Veteran’s Memorial Courtyard.  She would like it to come in fruition outside her room, S106 to honor those who served. “Students, community members, and Latrobe Veterans were very interested in doing it, and we thought it would be a great Project Based Learning Experience,” said Mrs. Bryner.  

“Graduate, Zwaen Gravatt was so instrumental in completing the design.  Since I still have the plans, I would be very willing to pass them on to another teacher to see it through to completion.”

Mrs. Bryner known as “Mama B.,” will not be forgotten as she was by far one of the greatest assets at Greater Latrobe Senior High School.  Equally, unforgettable quotes like “left of the open book” when using the TI-Nspire CX CAS calculator, “and that is correct” after answering homework questions, and “excellent” when students aced her tests will be remembered forever. Her presence was truly a gift and she hopes to make it back to visit as promised for Pi Day 2019.

Mrs. Bryner holds her first grandchild at her home. She was thrilled to become a Grandma as she was always that figure for her students.