Hansen named EMW Teacher of YearWORTHINGTON — The Education Minnesota — Worthington 2010 Teacher of the Year is herself a product of the Worthington educational system.
WORTHINGTON — The Education Minnesota — Worthington 2010 Teacher of the Year is herself a product of the Worthington educational system.
Worthington native Jodi Hansen now has two children of her own in District 518, and she thanked elementary-age Dale and Emma for helping her become a better teacher during the ceremony Monday at Worthington High School.
“I’m a different teacher as a result of having my own children,” she said, also thanking her parents, husband Duane, and teachers “who inspired me to learn for the love of learning.”
Hansen is a 17-year veteran of District 518, starting as a ninth-grade physical science teacher while students were still housed in the middle school. Now, she teaches physical science and reading at Worthington High School.
“As I develop and revise lessons I try to provide ways for students to process new learning,” she told her colleagues. “I believe any student can learn. … We need to remind ourselves that students are more than a test score; we need students who can think.”
Hansen received bachelors’ degrees in physics and chemistry education from Bethel University and a master’s degree in reading education from the University of Sioux Falls.
She served most recently as president of the local teachers’ union, is a six-year board member with local Great Southwestern United and recently became a Teaching Fellow through Fermilab.
“Thank you to my students for asking if there’s a job where they can sit and balance chemical equations all day, because they like it so much,” she joked.
In introducing Hansen, WHS teacher Sam Becker said: “Reaching students of all abilities and interests is her continuous goal. She represents so well why so many of us are educators.”
Also nominated for the award were Sheryl Hoekstra and Rich Liapis.
Hoekstra has been teaching for 32 years, 29 of them in Worthington and the last 13 as a second-grade teacher. She also taught Early Childhood Special Education for many years.
“She knows it is the Army’s slogan, but Sheryl says that teaching ‘is the toughest job you will ever love,’” said last year’s Teacher of the Year Jeanette Jenson in introducing Sheryl.
Liapis has been a teacher in Worthington for 28 years.
“Rich loves his fourth- grade students and provides a wonderful role model for them to follow,” Jenson said.