Hanson, Messer named Excellence in Education January winners
Haywood Early College teacher Doug Hanson and Meadowbrook Elementary School teacher Kimberly Messer were recognized with Excellence in Education awards for the month of January.
The Excellence in Education program recognizes teachers from Haywood County Schools who exemplify a commitment to innovative teaching practices and show dedication to student success.
The program is sponsored by Jack Bishop of Edward Jones and the Haywood County Schools Foundation (HCSF).
"Our Edward Jones office is honored to recognize Haywood County's outstanding teachers," Bishop said. "Our children have a brighter future thanks to the hard work and dedication of Mr. Hanson and Mrs. Messer."
For the past 19 years, Hanson has been teaching Haywood County students. He taught at Tuscola High School for 12 years before moving to Haywood Early College (HEC). At HEC, Hanson teaches English II and IV and also works as the school’s lead teacher.
“I am fortunate to be able to do a lot of one-on-one writing instruction with my students, which is always time well spent,” Hanson said. “Working closely with students and seeing their writing improve over the course of a semester feels gratifying.”
Hanson pushes his students to think and write on a college level. His analytical writing assignments prepare the Early College students to seamlessly transition to junior-level English classes at four-year colleges and universities.
Although first grade curriculum might not seem as rigorous as high school English, Messer is laying the foundation for math and reading in her classroom.
Messer, who has been teaching for 16 years, says her teaching style encourages students to feel successful no matter where they are academically or what is going on in their lives.
“In first grade, I am given the opportunity to watch my students grow and learn,” Messer said. “I may not be able to control what happens to children outside of my classroom, but while they are in my room, I am able to make them feel successful, important, and loved.”
Messer said that many of her students enter first grade as beginning or non-readers, but by the end of the year, she helps them leave her classroom as confident readers.
“It’s because of teachers like Mr. Hanson and Mrs. Messer that Haywood County Schools is ranked in the top 10 percent of public schools in the state,” said Jenny Wood Valliere, Haywood County Schools Foundation executive director. “The Excellence in Education program is a great way to publicly recognize them as outstanding teachers.”
Each month, up to three teachers from the 15 Haywood County Schools are recognized with an Excellence in Education award. Award winners are presented with a certificate and a $100 check sponsored by Bishop.