Don Ryan was born in Great Falls, one of eight children born to Bill and Jeanette Ryan. Don graduated from CMR, went to the UM graduating in 1976. Don taught and coached Basketball in towns across the State before returning to Great Falls to raise his family. Married to his wife Terri for 43 years they are the parents of 5 children; Bill & wife Tera in Little Rock Ark., Annie and Husband John Fitzgerald in Red Lodge, Sean and wife Sara in Butte, Cleo in Washington and Dixie (Dee) in Great Falls
Don has been actively involved with local government having been elected 4 times to the Great Falls School Board and twice to the Montana Senate.
While in the Senate, Don served on many committees: Business and Labor, Fish and Game, Energy and Telecommunications, Finance and Claims and Education. While serving as Chairman of the Education committee, Don sponsored SB 152 the “Definition of Quality Education” which help ended Columbia Falls vs the State of Montana lawsuit over inadequate funding to local schools. SB152 resulted in a school funding formula that raised money to local districts and lowered property taxes in over 2/3 of Montana districts.
Don was appointed to the commission in February of 2021 to fill the term of Jane Weber who retired.