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Dublin High School Senior Ryan Shipps’ Eagle Scout Journey

November 28, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–One of the perpetual challenges of high school life is to navigate the terrain and to find one’s place in this unique ecosystem. While some students attempt to embrace and conquer every aspect of this environment – others elect to form a cocoon of like minded individuals. There is no right or wrong way. Social fabrics are often formed with common interests including athletics, the arts, hobbies or academics. This is one of the reasons why we appreciate the broad diversity of students that attend our Dublin schools. With less than six months remaining in the current academic calendar, we are pleased to share the profile a Dublin High School student who has elected to carve his own path – while employing his natural, yet understated leadership to benefit others. Meet Ryan Shipps.

Ryan began his Dublin academic career at Murray Elementary School, promoted up through Wells Middle School and will graduate in May from Dublin High. His early interest in music led to a natural progression and development as a member of the Wells Roadrunner Marching Band. This experience culminated in him being elevated to Drum Major. Subsequently, he has successfully performed as a member of the Dublin High School Irish Guard. However, years earlier, his sense of becoming part of a team began with his experiences in scouting. Recently, Mr. Shipps’ Boy Scouts career culminated in attaining the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout – an accomplishment that is only achieved by 2-3% of all participants. We recently sat down with Ryan and asked him to reflect upon his DUSD career.

DSC_0098 Participating in band programs has been a significant part of your life. As you began your career at Dublin High School, what where your personal expectations of what you were about to experience?

Ryan Shipps: “I expected a lot more work I had to do. My sister was in high school band for two years before me and I remember her being gone quite often during marching season and I was prepared to put in that work because it culminated into a great field show. I had received the music “Dreams of Flying” which is probably the hardest piece I’ve had to memorize to this day, and I was ready to put in the work to learn that. What I was not expecting, however, was to scrap all of the marching technique I had learned from middle school. I, along with the entirety of my grade’s band members had to switch from a comfortable bent leg form to a comparatively difficult straight leg one. It seems obscure, but for marching band, it was the most jarring transition I had to make when I first joined.”


This slideshow requires JavaScript. While under the umbrella of DHS Music Programs, Concert and Chamber Choir is a completely different “animal.” Please make a distinction between this activity and Marching Band and what were some of the highlights of participating in choir?

Shipps: “Choir I would say has a more homely feel. Because the classes are a lot smaller we really build a family like environment despite the comparatively small amount of time we spend together. Of course, I’m not saying that we aren’t close in band, but in band we are more relegated to our sections, which half the time are broken up by different classes. An example of the closeness in choir would definitely be solo tryouts. In chamber choir we perform a solo in front of the class and everybody says comments after we are done about what we did well, and how we can improve. We would never do that in band, where solos are decided by a formal closed door audition with the teacher. My favorite days in choir are dress rehearsal days where each choir gets to see what the others have been working on. In each of these practices you see a lot of improvement from the previous concerts and you get to show off to the other classes how you and your class have gotten better as well. On top of this, you also get to hear some interesting, well performed music.” You were recently recognized for achieving your Eagle Scout status through Troop 905 – a major milestone. Please articulate planning and content of your Eagle project and then describe the type of support that you received from you fellow scouts and family.

Shipps: “I did my project for John Knox Church, who had been a major supporter of my troop. I renovated an ugly, unusable area on their property into a picnic area that I’m glad to say that they regularly use. To get to this point a lot of paperwork had to happen, from finances to the intricacies of individual jobs each day. This is all to make the actual work days run smoothly, but what really helped make my project run especially well was all of the help I got from friends and family. I have both a large troop and a large family where people were more than willing to come and help me on my project, as mundane as the work was.”

DSC_0088 When we discussed any advice that you would offer to an incoming student to DHS, you offered up two distinct concepts: “Don’t focus on grade level” and “Find your place.” For the benefit of future Gaels, please take the time to explain both ideas.

Shipps: “As a middle-schooler, many people see grade levels as defining points to make friends. If somebody is not in the same grade as you, they are seen as very different, but that changed a bit into high school where you stop caring if somebody is a grade higher or lower than you are and you start judging them on their personality and interests like you would with anybody else. Some of my best friends are sophomores while I’m a senior and act no differently toward them than I would with my other senior friends.

“Finding your place is a very nebulous concept, but it really just boils down to finding people you are comfortable with and happy being around. It could even be multiple groups of friends that don’t meld well together. I am in various “communities” like band, choir, and Boy Scouts. Almost nobody in those groups has shared another group with me, but nonetheless I feel accepted in all of them.” As you close out your high school career, it’s a good time to reflect on all of the activities/initiatives that you’ve taken on. Please take a moment to express your feelings to your family members that have supported you along the way.

Shipps: “I cannot thank my parents enough. My mom spends so much of her time organizing, planning, and double checking, making sure everything our family does runs smoothly. My dad is very active in any of my pursuits and takes days off of work to go on scouting campouts and often volunteers to help set up props for our band shows. My aunts and uncles are also extremely supportive of my endeavors and show up to every award ceremony and concert I’m in and my grandma has not missed a single one.”

The story of one DHS student. Yet, a complete set of experiences that are unique to him. would like to thank Mr. Shipps for sharing both his story and advice for incoming Gaels. On November 24, 2018, Ryan was the subject of an Eagle Court of Honor Program at Dublin City Hall Council Chambers. He was inducted as the 100th Eagle Scout from Troop 905.

  1. j9tigger permalink
    November 28, 2018 7:20 am

    I love the Shipps family! Congratulations on your Eagle Scout!

    • Michael Utsumi permalink
      November 28, 2018 10:26 pm

      Thank you for your positive comment!

  2. Laura Gan permalink
    December 2, 2018 11:23 pm

    Michael that was a wonderful article! So happy to see Ryan and his family receive recognition for their hard work.

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