Ryann Johnson - Director of Underwriting at Charter School Capital
Ryann is a mother, community leader, and Virginia native. Throughout her life, she’s worn many hats: world traveler, attorney, and mother of two. And across all those hats what remains consistent is her love for equal access and the global community. After law school, she worked as an attorney and dabbled in nonprofit work. Searching for a career to combine legal and nonprofit work, she found Charter School Capital. Now, nine years later, she reflects on what topics remain close to heart and what keeps her going.

Before law school, Ryann worked at a charter school, one of the oldest in North Carolina. When she moved to Portland, a recruiter saw her diverse background, her experience in a charter school combined with her role as an attorney, and immediately realized she was the perfect addition to the team at Charter School Capital. “They don’t know they’re looking for you, but you’re what they need,” said the recruiter.

Ryann started her path with CSC as an Operations Manager, and then advanced to the Director of Underwriting. This led to her current position as the Senior Director of Underwriting.

In Ryann’s eyes, CSC’s function is to mitigate risk for charter schools. In her capacity, Ryann oversees the due diligence process and legal requirements of Charter School Capital’s work with charter schools. The Underwriting Team makes sure that everything is in order for charters to receive their funding and maintain operations.

For Ryann, the process of collaboratively solving problems with the underwriting team is a joyful experience. Doing mission-driven work increases the quality of Ryann’s life. She’s always excited to wake up in the morning and be faced with opportunities to make the world a little better.

In Ryann’s own words:

“I’ve always wanted to be in a field that was mission-driven, directly supported the community, and where you could see the direct impact. Working in support of education has allowed me to fulfill my purpose and impact numerous communities and families”

Ryann often reflects on how fortunate she is, how grateful she feels to have a loving family, food, clothing, and enough of everything. She loves spending time with her family and watching her kids blossom. Ryann also loves to pursue yoga, volunteering, and traveling – she is always happy to embrace new experiences and opportunities.

Her journey reflects that: She has traveled to over 30 countries, and nearly all 50 states. Ryann fell in love with international travel after law school and continued to explore, learn, and enjoy different cultures. Even after having kids, she is intentional about traveling and exposing her kids to new cultures. And based on her kids’ feedback, they love visiting other countries, too.

Ryann would like to see less division and anger, and more kindness and grace in the world. When asked “what class would you like to see taught?” Ryann thinks of a course revolving around social and emotional wellness – a class exploring the importance of empathy, conflict resolution, and anger management. In her view, if everyone knew how to resolve things peacefully and talk to people who have different opinions, our society and world would function much better.

Looking ahead, Ryann would like to see less politicization of education in the United States. She’d like to see a bigger focus on access to quality public education. If people came to the topic with that lens, charter schools would be seen as an opportunity and extension of the public school community, and more people would embrace them.

In her field and career, she feels most inspired when working directly with people, helping them fulfill their vision, and seeing the impact CSC is making. Ryann hopes to see CSC continuing to expand into areas of service that specifically focus on supporting disadvantaged and low-income students and communities. She would love to see CSC bring forth more scholarships, mentoring, and partnerships for students across the nation.

Ryann believes that one way to find true happiness is to focus on helping others. She also recommends enjoying moments and experiences, rather than focusing on material possessions.

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Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!

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