Ryan Aqui, Director of Information Technology, grew up in Takoma Park, MD. Ryan attended Catholic school and became active in the church community, serving as an alter boy and participated in the church choir. After switching to public school for middle and high School, Ryan graduated and pursued accounting in college. Initially, he felt that accounting was a good fit due to his love of numbers but he found the coursework uninspiring.
After performing paralegal-related work at a law firm, Ryan would ultimately realize his current path after taking a Microsoft certification computer course at a local technology school. “I like IT because I am a problem solver,” he said. “I like to be faced with problems. Then, I like to research, investigate, and solve.”
Ryan secured a role as a contractor at the Securities & Exchange Commission where he began as a Tier 1 help desk technician. Through changing contracts, the SEC requested to retain him each time, and he would become a Tier 3 Technician prior the end of his tenure there.
Before ultimately coming to JDS, Ryan would hold one more position as an IT Technician at another small firm. He would then begin work with Dataprise in 2011, the company JDS once contracted with for our in-house IT department staff.
Ryan first came to work with JDS as the back-up help desk technician, the person who Dataprise would call if the usual technician called out or was at another site. After working very successfully at the School part-time it was requested that he become our full time help desk technician. Ryan worked at JDS by way of Dataprise for 7 years, supporting the School’s IT infrastructure, and managing help desk concerns for faculty, staff, students, and parents. Ultimately, Ryan’s position was brought in-house in 2019. Shortly after, the Director of IT position became available, Ryan who stepped up to the role, first as the Acting Director, then Director 6 months later.
Being a part of the JDS community and having strong IT staff around him is a professional highlight for Ryan. “From day one, I was welcomed with open arms,” he said. “Everyone here is supportive, collaborative, and extremely appreciative of the work my team and I do.”
In his position as the Director of IT, Ryan aims to take a new approach. “I am still a help desk technician heart, I will always like helping solve problems for people at the base level,” he said. “In my new position, I look at the big picture for the School, but I will never leave the technical side of IT. It helps me make sure I know everything that is going on with my department. ”Being resolution oriented, Ryan feels that he thrives in the complex IT environment at the School. “I like finding those resolutions; bringing joy to others brings joy to me,” he said. “What other job can you get a standing ovation from a room full of 8 year-olds for fixing their connection issues. Appreciation is the reward I get for working hard.”
Outside of school, Ryan enjoys spending time with his sons, Tyree (20), and Caleb (8), and his wife, Yvette. “I am really just a Dad,” he said. “That’s my main pastime. I want to make sure everything is running well. When work becomes chaotic, I find peace in spending time with my family at home.” Ryan is an avid sports fan, and ensures his sons stay active. He is also a former motorcycle enthusiast and hopes to rekindle that hobby soon.