The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Christy Kienast, The Quill

Meet your neighbor Ryan Bliss of Carthage. Ryan has been the Guidance Counselor at Illini West High school for the last 4 years. Ryan was born in Kansas City, Missouri where he lived until 3rd grade. He lived in Keokuk, IA through 8th grade, and moved into Hamilton, Illinois and attended and graduated from Hamilton High School in 1997.

Ryan received a Bachelor's degree from Culver-Stockton College and a Master's degree from Quincy University.

He is the son of Rebecca and the late Jeffrey Bliss. Rebecca lives in Hamilton and is a division Vice-President for SAVA Senior Care. Jeffrey was an accountant and later a bank president in Hamilton.

Ryan married his wife Yvette (Shumate) in 2000, a lifelong resident of Hamilton and 1998 graduate of Hamilton High School. She worked at Quincy Medical Group since 2003 as an X-Ray Technician.

Ryan and Yvette have four children: Ali 13, and Ava 9, attends Carthage Middle School. Karsyn and Kinnick are 4 and will be attending preschool in Carthage this year.

Ryan has one brother and 2 sisters. Dan and his wife Jami live in Omaha, Nebraska with their 1-year-old daughter, Emily. They will be moving to the Woodcliffe Lake, New Jersey area this August. Dan is a regional sales representative for Schaefer, Inc.

Ryan's sister Katie works as an adjudicator for the state of Illinois and lives in Springfield. She has a 6 year old son, Tyler.

Sister Lauren works as a child care worker in Hamilton and has a daughter Lilyana, 1.

Ryan is the grandson of Ann and the late Allan Harshbarger, both natives of Galesburg and both worked at Sheller-Globe, now Henninges, in Keokuk, IA. Ann is retired and is now a secretary there. Allan was a product engineer.

The late Jim and Helen Bliss are also his grandparents. Both were school teachers who finished their careers in the Keokuk Community School District (Iowa).

Before coming to Illini West, Ryan worked as a guidance director/transitions teacher at Keokuk High school and he has also worked in the mental health services field.

In his spare time, Ryan enjoys being with his kids, and being involved in their activities and sports through watching or coaching, he also enjoys fishing, doing projects around the house, and being around family and friends. One of his proudest achievements is fatherhood. Ryan's favorite vacations include taking summer trips to some of the cabins and lakes in northern Minnesota while he was growing up. Ryan says, "It was always an adventure and something memorable happened each time we went."

Ryan is a member of the United Presbyterian Church of Keouk. He is the Illini West Key Club Sponsor, and a coach in various sports for the Carthage Family Fitness Center each of the last 8 years.

Ryan is very proud to be a product of the Tri-State area and proud of the fact I have chosen to raise my family here. "I also take pride in the work my colleagues and I do at Illini West. I look forward to another school year and working with all of our students. "