Hansen’s passion for libraries, technology shows in education

The school library at Carpenter School is just one of the many places you’ll find Elementary Librarian and Technology Coach Heather Hansen. She takes on many roles within the MCSD. Seated in front with a few of their favorite books are fourth-graders Vannessa Clapp, Bonnie Tran, and Skyler Christianson. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Panther Professionals
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Panther Professionals is a weekly series highlighting educators, administrators, staff and aides who are dedicated to the future of the Monticello Community School District.

     Heather Hansen is in “the know” when it comes to the latest technology. After all, that’s her job.

     Hansen serves as Monticello elementary schools’ librarian and technology coach. She splits her days between Carpenter School in the morning and Shannon School in the afternoons.

     “It keeps me busy and active,” she said.

     Hansen has been with the MCSD for nine years now, and said the best part of the job is seeing the students every day.

     “I love working with the kids.”

     When Hansen first started working for the district, she spent a quarter of her time as a substitute teacher and the majority of her time working in the library.

     “I love being a librarian,” she said.

     Aside from her full-time job, Hansen volunteers for the Monticello Public Library Friends of the Library group, the Wyoming Public Library Friends group, and volunteering at the Wyoming and Monticello library events.

     Students no longer just learn basic library skills with Hansen, but now it’s expanded into an overall media class, encompassing different forms of media and research.

     “It's never ending,” she said of the changes associated with his job.

     The media class also gives students the opportunity to work within maker spaces.

     “This gives them structural station time,” Hansen explained.

     The students have the freedom to engage in art projects, work on coding, or build with Legos.

     Hansen’s job at a technology coach has her working with the TLS (Teacher Leadership System) staff in both elementary schools buildings.

     “I help then integrate technology into the classrooms,” said Hansen.

     This enhancement might be through iPads, laptops, or smartboards.

     Hansen admitted she always dabbled in technology since working for the MCSD; now, she has an official title.

     “Technology is always changing, and we have to change with it,” she said. “Technology has always been second nature to me. It’s just a matter of finding what works and putting it together with the core curriculum.”

     Hansen said kids these days latch on so easily when introduced to technology. She’s looking forward to the next school year when students in K-12 will all be equipped with 1:1 technology, whether it’s an iPad or laptop.

     “It’s exciting,” she said of the endless engagement possibilities. Hansen said there are so many apps out there to bring into the classrooms, allowing the kids to have more freedom in their education.

     “The 1:1 technology and Standards Referenced Reporting are both positive changes to the district,” praised Hansen. “You have to evolve and we’re moving forward in the right direction.” Hansen said she thinks more and more schools will move in this direction as well.

     “The technology helps us to better communicate with the kids,” she said.

     Hansen said each student has an online portfolio where teachers and parents can see where the student is at in his/her academics.

     It’s no surprise that Hansen’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in library science from the University of Northern Iowa.

     “I love seeing kids at all levels as they learn,” she said of working with all of the elementary-aged students.

     Aside from her position with the district, Hansen also serves on the technology steering committee and the teacher dialogue committee with Superintendent Brian Jaeger.

     “He has a good vision for this school,” Hansen said of Jaeger’s leadership.

     While some teachers take their summers off, Hansen can be seen working on the district computers, wiping the systems clean for the next school year.

     She also volunteers her time to PTO and teaches Sunday School at her church in Wyoming.


Subscriber Login