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Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider (MI)

RJHS teacher named Wal-Mart's local teacher of the year
MARIA ALLARD; C & G Staff Writer    
Published: November 14, 2007
ROSEVILLE - A poster that reads, "Mr. Hansen rocks - he's the best teacher ever" in purple, pink and green letters hangs behind Ryan Hansen's desk inside his Roseville Junior High School classroom. The sign, written by ninth-grade students Kaylee Dempsey and Katie Sanders, is appropriate considering Hansen was named Wal-Mart's local teacher of the year last May. For the honor, Hansen was recognized at a Roseville Community Schools Board of Education meeting Nov. 5, and received a plaque from the school board.

"He's very innovative. He makes learning math fun," RJHS Principal Paul Schummer said during the meeting. "When I ask students what their favorite class is, they tell me it's math. When I ask them who their teacher is, they tell me Mr. Hansen. He engages the kids. He's a great role model and a pleasure to work with." "I can't lie, I hoped to win but my main goal was I was hoping

somebody from the building would win," Hansen said. "I was excited because I knew what it would allow for."

Hansen received, from the 12 Mile and Gratiot store, a $1,000 educational grant for RJHS to obtain an LCD projector and document camera for the school. Hansen said the equipment, which allows lessons to be shown on a large screen, has been an effective learning tool.

"It allows you to show everything you have in an enlarged format so everyone can see it well," he said.

Hansen teaches five seventh-grade math classes, plus a Math Attack class for students who need additional help in the subject. Hansen used the new equipment during math class Nov. 7, when the students reviewed integer numbers.

"Do yourselves a favor," he said. "Learn this the right way this year. Then you won't have to worry about it."

While some students excel in math, it's a difficult subject for others. Hansen takes that into consideration when teaching.

"The way I learned it is not the way all students learn," said Hansen, adding he uses different strategies so students can grasp lessons. "I do as much as possible. The only constraint is time."

After being surveyed in an exploring careers project in eighth-grade, Hansen knew education was his calling.

"School is my comfortable place," he said. "I always looked forward to going. I never wanted to stay home. It comes natural for me."

Hansen's students were pleased to see Wal-Mart acknowledge him.

"He's deserving because he's a nice teacher," Brandon Sikon said. "He is cool because he's funny."

"You learn a lot," Jordan Hartwig said.

"I used to hate (math) but now it's better," Katie Kyewski said.

"He was a very good teacher," said Alexa Ritter, a ninth-grader who had Hansen's class last year and is currently in honors math. "He understands students from their point of view. He's a very good explainer."

"I've always enjoyed sharing knowledge," Hansen said. "I like to see others succeed."

Hansen, a 1996 graduate of Roseville High School, has been teaching for five years. He attended RJHS and his classroom is next to that of his former teacher Danielle Fridge.

Hansen earned a teaching degree from Eastern Michigan University. He is currently finishing up his Master of Education degree at Oakland University.

You can reach Staff Writer Maria Allard at allard@candgnews.com or at (586) 498-1045.

Caption:Ryan Hansen, who once attended Roseville Junior High School, works with students in math class Nov. 7.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Copyright, 2007, Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider (MI), All Rights Reserved.

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