Granton Middle School Teacher
Kohl Teachers Fellowship
Granton Middle School teacher Amy Hanna, left, received
a Kohl Teachers Fellowship during the weekend.
Granton Middle School/High School principal Julie Kolarik, who nominated
Hanna for the award, accompanied her to the presentation program.
By Scott Schulz
Hope for students.
Unrealized goals. Dream lessons
Granton Middle School teacher Amy Hanna said
those are some of the things she hopes to yet achieve during her teaching
career. Those goals received a boost this
weekend, when Hanna was presented with a Herb Kohl Fellowship.
The annual fellowship includes a $6,000 award to
the recipients’ schools.
The hope and goals were among the answers to
questions the Kohl Fellowship organizers asked Hanna after she was nominated for
“These often get tucked into a back pocket of my
mind for a quieter day,” she said. “Even
though these goals are yet unfilled, I hope to pursue them with a diligence.”
“A quieter day” seldom is in Hanna’s Granton
School District. She wears many hats
there, including teaching middle school language arts, sixth-grade composition,
advanced literature and reading competition.
“You do a lot of different things when you’re in
a smaller school district,” Hanna said.
Hanna taught seventh-grade language arts for five
years in an Indiana school district until moving to the area because of her
husband’s job as a game warden. She
started teaching at Granton eight-years ago.
She said it was her good fortune to land in a
school such as Granton. It has, however,
kept her wearing those many hats.
Besides her varied teaching load, she serves as
the district’s spelling bee coordinator and is the district’s Positive Attitude
Plus Work Equals Success team leader and serves on the district’s technology
team and professional development committee.
She’s also served as the high school student
council advisor and has served on the curriculum, and instruction committee,
staff cheer squad, Holiday choir, teacher mentor, chaperone, secondary STAR
assessment coordinator running club leader and after-school learning one
Hanna has received the Granton FFA’s Honorary
Chapter Farmer Alumnus Award and is a Crystal Apple Award winner.
Besides her efforts at school, Hanna has a busy
family, church and community life – among that work, serving as secretary and
equipment manager of the Clark County Youth Hockey Association.
Hanna said she learned early in her career the
teaching philosophy she said she strives to meet: “What is best for each student
is best. That is what I must endeavor
every day to do.”
The philosophy includes holding her students to
high expectations in behavior and the mastery of skills – Adding to that
“showing them a healthy dose of respect and compassion.”
The philosophy also includes finding the best
presentations for individual students’ needs and helping students find
literature that best fits their interests.
“Reward trips” Hanna said have included overnight
back packing trips that have been parts of her teaching methods.
“What is best being different for each student
each day,” she said. “I don’t always get
it right, but it’s a question I ask myself daily.
I strive for it to be the basis for everything I do.”
Hanna said there is plenty
for her to yet achieve in helping students become learners – especially through
introduction to good literature. And, she
said she’s like to see some things happen such as starting a school club for
simple fun, or to see the school’s pool opened year-around for school and
community use. There are many more hopes
on her list.
“Though some of these ‘yets’ are out of my
control, I know the difference a positive and confident leader can make,” she
said. “I look to what I can influence,
not at where I could fall short. By
pressing unswervingly toward some of these unrealized goals, I can provide a
better platform from which my students can succeed.
“By pursuing dreams of clubs, history and
culturally significant field trips and experiential learning opportunities, I
can be a part of changing my students’ perspectives.
These goals I have are only ‘yet’ unrealized.
Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI
April 25, 2018
, April 27, 2018.
Web page by
James W. Sternitzky PhD,
May 2, 2018.