When asked what he taught, Robert D. Ruyle always replied “students” — subjects included woodworking, electronics, computer science and technology.
Mr. Ruyle believed all students that crossed his path were capable of success no matter their goals or plans for after high school. A true educator and advocate for all, he shared concepts and skills he knew would prove to add value throughout one’s life.
For 30 years (1970-2000), Mr. Ruyle taught at South High School in Downers Grove in the Industrial Arts and Technology Department. His passion lived in the school’s woodworking program and wood shop. Students may recall projects including toothpick bridges, locker shelving, wood cases, stereo cabinets, director chairs and tool chests.
In the early 1980s, Mr. Ruyle created a program that coordinated with his two son’s kindergarten classes at District 58. “School is For The Birds” paired DGS students in the woodworking program to assist kindergartners at Hillcrest Elementary School in constructing their own birdhouse.
As state curriculum requirements progressed in the early 1990s, Ruyle designed and taught a custom technology course that met new state learning standards, “Orientation to Technology”. The course was taught around building and running(racing) an 1/10 scale remote control car, weaving in concepts of teamwork, manufacturing and electronics with the practical hands-on component of assembling the car.
In 2013, with a grandson in kindergarten at District 58’s Fairmount Elementary School, Mr. Ruyle reprised the birdhouse program. Prepping material’s in his shop ahead of time, he guided the kindergarten students (with the assistance of a group of volunteer parents) through the various steps of sawing, drilling, hammering, nailing and sanding to complete their own birdhouses.
In memory of Robert D. Ruyle, please make a donation to assist students and educators in District 99 through the District 99 Education Foundation. Donations will be used towards the Career and Technical Education department and to benefit students and families in need. Donate today.
Monetary donations can also be mailed to the District office. Please make your check out to the District 99 Education Foundation with the memo line “Robert D. Ruyle Memorial Fund.” Checks can be mailed to:
Community High School District 99
℅ District 99 Education Foundation
6301 Springside Avenue
Downers Grove, Illinois 60516