With wintery weather in the air, New Englanders make daily decisions based on the forecast of their trusted meteorologists. Central Catholic doesn’t have to look beyond the Class of 2012 to find a reliable source on weather - Ryan Breton ‘12, a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist with News Center Maine – WCSH and WLBZ in Portland, ME.
Ryan recently returned to campus to share his real-world perspective, expertise, and experiences with seniors enrolled in the course Faith and Values in the Media.
He shared a behind-the-scenes view into the world of broadcast news. From the sometimes unpredictable daily schedule of an on-air broadcaster, to wearing thick make-up to avoid shine on camera, Ryan immersed students in the ups and downs of working in front of the camera.
“First and foremost I am a scientist that interprets data, but in my role as a broadcast meteorologist, I am part of a newscast that needs to serve viewers, attract and retain an audience. For example, if I’m on our morning news, I am part of a TV show that is supposed to wake people up, so I have to portray that on the air.”
Having graduated from the well-renowned Meteorology program at Penn State University in 2016, Ryan was one of just a few of his academic peers who entered into the world of broadcast meteorology.
His love for everything weather-related is not a new phenomenon - it started in fifth grade to be exact. He found himself fascinated early on by how quickly weather can change and always wondered what caused storms and how they formed.
“I started out as a weather watcher for TV stations in Boston, sending snow totals and temperatures from my house,” said Ryan, an Atkinson, New Hampshire native. “In middle school - for 'fun' - I created a website AtkinsonWeather.com all on my own. Over time, I learned the 'tricks of the trade' and posted my own forecasts and gained a following.”
Ryan’s passion for weather forecasting continued as a student at Central Catholic, when he’d wake up early before school to forecast the weather and post it online every morning by 6:30 AM. His forecasts were often featured in The Eagle-Tribune.
Throughout his CCHS experience, he enjoyed math and physics and was involved in several student activities including Student Council, Cross Country, Project Rebuild, and Ski Club, to name a few. Most notably, Ryan received the Brother Florentius Memorial Award at graduation – the highest award given to a graduating senior.
“In a unique way, Central Catholic supported me by respecting my forecasts even as a high schooler. Mrs. Keller (now Principal at CCHS), would ask for my input when making a decision on snow days. I was always honest, even if I wanted a day off from school, I'd never hype or play up a storm.”
Even today when inclement weather is expected, he will receive calls or texts from CCHS faculty members who are looking to get a heads up on how the weather might impact games and practices. “I truly appreciate that they still trust my forecasts.”
Thank you Mr. Ryan Breton '12 for sharing your professional experiences with our seniors!
About Faith and Values in the Media
This one-semester, elective course for seniors focuses on the essential elements of media awareness and literacy so as to enable and empower young adults to discern and evaluate the impact media and its message has on a Christian lifestyle. The students study how media and the adults who control it have gone to great expense to connect with teen culture often at the expense of Christian faith and values. Students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of media literacy and illustrate their ability to discern its effect on faith and values.