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Teacher Spotlight: Sherri Bryan

Ms. Bryan, our very own librarian at Santa Barbara High School, brings a unique background and a deep passion for education to our school community.

Ms. Bryan hails from a diverse background, having grown up in various small towns in Georgia and later spending her high school years in Barstow, California, right in the middle of the desert. When asked about her preference between Georgia and California, she admitted that while Georgia held a special place in her heart, moving around frequently was a challenge. Her move to California was an eye-opener, as she imagined a California filled with movie stars, beaches, and surfers, only to find herself in Barstow, far from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.

Her educational journey led her to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she pursued her bachelor’s degree in English. It was a significant accomplishment, given that she was a first generation college student. Her eldest brother set an inspiring example by attending the University of Georgia around the same time. Her parents were supportive, but Ms. Bryan self-financed her education, paving her own way.

Initially, she contemplated majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences to become an interpreter, inspired by her high school American Sign Language courses, however, UCSB discontinued their program, leading her to major in English, a subject she excelled in at high school.

Ms. Bryan was drawn to the subject by her high school experiences, and she quickly discovered her passion for teaching. She taught English at various schools, including San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara Junior High, and Goleta Valley Junior High. Her journey also took her overseas, where she taught in Nepal and Tanzania, “It was so hard and also so incredibly amazing.”

In New York, her husband secured a job at a university, and Ms. Bryan decided to pursue a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences. While working part-time as an English instructor at the State University of New York, she simultaneously attended graduate school. Her dedication eventually led to her earning a master’s degree.

In 2012, she moved back to Santa Barbara and joined San Marcos High School as a teacher librarian, where she served for eight years. 

In 2020, Ms. Bryan accepted the challenge of joining our school, despite the pandemic complicating her transition. She arrived to work in person, taking on the role of librarian at SBHS, which she was excited about since she lives five blocks away from school, and loves to walk to work.

When asked about her decision to make the shift, Ms. Bryan expressed her desire to make a difference and transform our library into a vibrant, inclusive, and student-centered space.

As for the future, Ms. Bryan has no immediate plans to leave, and she’s committed to her current role. However, she’s open to new challenges in the future and anticipates another chapter in her professional journey.

Ms. Bryan exemplifies a teacher who has paved her own way since day one. Her remarkable journey from Georgia to Santa Barbara and everywhere in between is a testament to her unwavering dedication to the field of education.


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