As the new and unique school year kicks off, new teachers are coming in. Hanna Angst is a new fourth grade teacher at Laingsburg Elementary School. She has wanted to be a teacher since her senior year of high school and was not going to let anyone squish her dream throughout all of this chaos.
She previously attended Laingsburg Community Schools, then after graduating from Central Michigan University, she came back to Laingsburg to teach. Angst is very passionate about teaching younger kids and helping them create a love for learning at a young age. She enjoys helping them with new emotions and academic content.
“I feel like they are at the stage in life where they are really impressionable and you can make a big impact on them,” Angst said.
Teachers can influence children in many ways at a young age. It may not appeal to many people but to Angst, there are many things to love about it including watching the kids grow as people.
“I love seeing that or when we are having a classroom discussion and I hear someone make a kind remark towards someone else, or someone goes over to help someone else with something that they are struggling at. I feel like it’s the little moments that really make it worthwhile,” Angst said.
As school begins again the new teachers start their first day. One of the new additions to Laingsburg Elementary School teaching staff is Hannah Thomas, the new art teacher. Thomas attended Grand Valley State University as well as Michigan State University to earn her teaching degree. Outside of teaching Thomas is still a very artistic person.
“I love to sing and participate in community theatre! I enjoy reading, being creative and going for bike rides in the evening. I love painting, trying new restaurants, and spending quality time with my wonderful husband and our chocolate lab, Charlie,” Thomas said.
Thomas has always been a very artistic person. So, deciding to become an art teacher was no shock to her.
“I have always loved everything in the arts; singing, dancing, acting, and creating! When I graduated high school, I had plans of becoming an elementary teacher, but initially began taking classes in art and music,” Thomas said. “It was not until later that I realized I should combine multiple passions and create a career out of teaching art, best decision ever.” However, teaching is not something new to Thomas, as she has taught in the past. This is her first year teaching full time.
“I have taught art in the past, but this will be my first year teaching full-time with K-5 students. I am so thrilled to bring art back to the elementary level,” Thomas said.
Being a teacher to young kids has their interesting and difficult moments. Sometimes it is hard to get them to participate but when they do they are amazed by what they can create.
“I truly enjoy the moments when students communicate that they are proud of their work. Art is such a personal experience and a mode of creative expression, so it is always fascinating to hear the reasoning behind a piece or see the growth associated with a new technique or style. Many students even surprise themselves with what they can achieve,” Thomas said.
Abby Frank is a new English teacher this year at Laingsburg Middle School and she has been a English teacher for 7 years. She previously taught 7th and 8th grades at the American International School of Kuwait for four years before moving to the International Community school of Addis Ababa (in Ethiopia) for two years. She then moved back to Michigan to teach high school in Shepherd at Morey FlexTech High School before returning to LMS where she now teaches 7th grade.
Frank was inspired to become an English teacher because teaching had all the things that she enjoys. She also truly believes that education is how people can make the world a better place. The more people study literature, read books that help build empathy, and learn to communicate more kindly and purposefully, the easier it could be to build a better, more loving, peaceful, world. Gladly, she decided to bring this passion and love for teaching literature to Laingsburg Middle School this year.
“I decided to teach at Laingsburg because I was looking to be at a rural middle school. I wanted to teach only one grade level, and 7th grade is my favorite!” Frank said. “I really liked Mrs. Nosek when I met her, and the other two English teachers (Mrs. Chamberlain and Mrs. Henne) were so kind, and told me that they loved teaching here too. It was a very easy decision.”
Due to COVID-19, some teachers are not able to get the wonderful experience they usually would with their students. Luckily, in Laingsburg students are able to learn face-face with their teachers. Despite these changes, teachers are still able to get the time they love and enjoy with their students.
“Teaching at LMS has been an absolutely wonderful experience. I missed teaching in the middle school, and my students this year are absolute rock stars.” Frank said, “They are funny, hardworking, and kind. They know how to have a good time, but also know that they have to try because English can be tough. They ask good questions, tell really entertaining stories, and make me laugh almost every day. I feel really lucky to work here.