Ryan and Tynae Kienzle are feeling pretty lucky right about now.
Not only that, they both landed jobs in the North Canton City School District this year. Ryan will teach eighth grade science at , while Tynae fills in for a middle school teacher on maternity leave and is the assistant coach for the girls cross country team.
Actually, both are avid runners, having participated in cross country at Malone University. This year, Ryan made the Olympic tryouts, and Tynae finished in the top four in the Canton Marathon while Ryan finished first in the half marathon.
They said they're excited to be a part of a school district and community steeped in sports and tradition.
"Being a GlenOak grad, I know how much the community and tradition and sports matter to people, and North Canton has a strong tradition in cross country as well," Ryan said. "I think we're just excited to be a part of that because we've had so many connections with the community already."
"After I ran , I had a lot of parents and people approach me about Tynae and I both being involved in coaching and teaching, and they were really excited about that. I feel like we were welcomed with open arms."
Ryan had left his teaching job at Plain Local Schools for North Canton and describes it as a bittersweet departure. But, he said he's looking forward to the new opportunities within North Canton.
And Tynae, a native of Fort Wayne, IN, is having no trouble getting acclimated to North Canton and Stark County.
"I connect with a lot of the teachers and the staff here," she said. "And just living in Canton since I've been a freshman at Malone, it started to feel like home to me."
She said she draws a lot of similarities between the Fort Wayne and North Canton communities. The school districts even have their similarities, she said, adding she enjoys the diversity that comes with being in a public school.
The two met at Malone University, where Ryan studied math and science and Tynae language arts and social studies. Ryan, an '08 grad, said he met Tynae, a 2012 grad, when she and her mom visited the campus before her freshman year. Ryan, a member of the track team, gave them a tour of the campus and shared information with them about the track program.
The two running fanatics even worked the sport into their wedding, with Malone University track coach Jon Johnson marrying them.
Tynae said she's excited to start her season with the Hoover High runners. She hopes to be a role model for the students and teach them a little something along the way.
"I want to be able to push the girls in their running," she said. "I feel like running teaches us so much about a person and what we want and who we want to be."
Think you know a North Canton teacher who would make a great "Teacher Spotlight" story? Let us know! Email Editor Morgan Day at Morgan.Day@patch.com.