Dewey Rykard, KI4RGD, Joins ARRL Staff as Instruction and Resource Coordinator
The ARRL is pleased to welcome Instruction and Resource Coordinator Dewey Rykard II, KI4RGD, to the Headquarters staff in Newington. Rykard, who will be working in the League's Education Services Department, will focus on developing and identifying resources for ARRL instructors. He also will play an integral role in the annual series of Teachers Institutes in Wireless Technology, sponsored by the ARRL and held every spring and summer around the country.
A General class licensee (who hopes to earn his Amateur Extra class license by the end of the year) and an ARRL Member, Rykard comes to the ARRL with almost 13 years of experience in education. Licensed since 2007, he came to the League after teaching elementary school and later becoming a Director at Epiphany Lutheran School in Tallahassee, Florida. Before that, he taught biology, anatomy and physiology, basic photography at the high school level, as well as and middle school life science in San Antonio, Texas. In June 2010, he was awarded his MS in educational administration from Concordia University.
In his position at ARRL HQ, Rykard will be assisting Education Services Manager Debra Johnson, K1DMJ. His responsibilities will include reviewing and organizing resources needed by instructors, teachers and Scout leaders, developing lesson plans to be utilized by ARRL Registered Instructors and for the ARRL’s Education & Technology Program (ETP), providing guidance in the development of ARRL license study manuals and coordinating the ARRL’s educational award program. In addition, Rykard will provide support for the ETP, participate in the Teachers Institute trainings, help to provide ongoing resource support for teachers and assist with administration of the ETP. You may meet him at the ARRL booth at conventions where he will represent ARRL Education Services programs.
“Dewey’s fresh love affair with ham radio has inspired him to active participation in several roles his local club and community in Southern Georgia, including licensing instruction,” said Johnson. “He is interested in learning and exploring more of Amateur Radio, and with his natural inclination to teach, is delighted to find a role where he can bring others along on his adventures. I’m impressed with Dewey’s immediate grasp of the educational missions entrusted to this department and I look forward to what we can accomplish with his personal motivation and skills.”
Both Rykard’s parents -- Dewey and Marilyn -- are amateurs, KI4NYU and KJ4NBF, respectively, as is his wife Cindy, KJ4SWA. “My dad got his ticket in 2006, and he was always talking about what fun Amateur Radio was,” Rykard explained. “So after listening to him go on and on about the fun he was having, I decided that I had to get my license, too. And then the same thing happened to my wife! She kept hearing me talk about being on the air and having fun, so she went and got her license earlier this year.”
Rykard -- who lived in Cairo, Georgia prior to relocating to the Newington area -- served as the Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Grady County, located in Southwest Georgia, and ran a weekly ARES® simplex net. Besides working with the EmComm side of Amateur Radio, he is also an ARRL Registered Instructor, teaching several Technician classes with his local Amateur Radio club, the Thomasville Amateur Radio Club (TARC).
As EC, Rykard participated in numerous public service events, such as the Pavo (Georgia) Peacock Parade and the Spaghetti 100 bike race. “While I was EC, we were activated twice for thunderstorms,” he said. “When this happened, I would report to the Volunteer Fire Department building in Thomas and help provide communications as needed.”
But Rykard also likes to have fun on the air: “When I upgraded to General, a whole new DX world opened up to me. I enjoy operating phone on 20 and 40 meters, PSK31, as well as operating HF mobile.” While a part of the TARC, he had fun operating Field Day. “We run as 4F from the Thomas County Emergency Operations Center each year,” he said. “My job has always been as the GOTA (Get-on-the-Air) Coach. I really enjoy showing visitors and newcomers to Amateur Radio how much there can be.”
Calling his job at ARRL HQ “a dream come true,” Rykard explained that there are not many jobs that combine education with a favorite hobby, such as Amateur Radio: “There is so much to do with education and Amateur Radio, the sky is the limit. Here at HQ, I can do so much more for the Amateur Radio community than I was able to do before. Before, I may have helped one or two people get their license, but now I can help other instructors, classes and groups get licensed. I have always wanted to make a difference, and working with the League’s Education Services Department is allowing me to fulfill all of these goals.”