Granton Middle School Teacher
Amy Hanna
Received a
Kohl Teachers Fellowship

Amy Hanna and Julie Kolarik

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.  (Contributed photo)

By Scott Schulz

Hope for students.  Unrealized goals.  Dream lessons and projects.

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 the award.

“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 homework helper.

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

Transcribed by Dolores M. Kenyon, April 27, 2018.

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, May 2, 2018. 

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