By Kim Johnson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This week’s Excellent Educator leaves a lasting impact on not only her students.

“On paper we’re co-teachers, but in my heart and in my brain she is the ultimate mentor to me,” said Katie Scherratt.

Scherratt is talking about Ms. Ann Hanson, a teacher at Hillcrest Community School in Bloomington. Hanson devotes her energy to teaching preschoolers, but little does she know her colleagues are taking notes on how she does it.

“Kids this age are really in the moment so it’s really fun to be with them because everything is a miracle a snowflake an acorn everything we do is fun and exciting,” Hanson said.

The kids love her just as much, but her biggest fan may not be her target audience.

“I go home quoting her every day, my husband refers to her as ‘the legend’ because I’m just constantly talking about her,” Scherratt said.

Scherratt is herself a preschool teacher, but says she often feels like one of Hanson’s students.

“I’ve learned so much from her,” she said. “She sees every kids’ strength and celebrates that, she sees what every kid needs to work on because she says we don’t get all the gifts and so she can hone in on their strengths and weaknesses and they just all adore her and so do I”.

“That makes me feel great, when you’re a teacher you start out as a student teacher in someone else’s classroom, so that’s part of teaching paying it forward and sharing what you’ve learned,” Hanson said.

Hanson’s goal is to give her students a fruitful learning environment.

“This is when they’re first exposed to school and I want it to be a welcoming and joyful place,” she said.

She unknowingly makes it one for some.

“She’s just amazing and I hope she doesn’t retire before my kids can have her,” Scherratt said.

Hanson helped launch the Early Learners Academy at Hillcrest Community School. She’s played a role in picking the curriculum and choosing the equipment. She started out as a middle school Special Education teacher.


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