"As far as teachers go, Mrs. Hansen has been the most demanding, has the highest
standards, and best teacher I've had so far."

-- Eighth Grade Student

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  JULIE HANSEN        

Julie Hansen is our school director, but her first love is teaching middle school. She continues to teach courses in English, history, and Spanish.

She graduated with a degree in anthropology  from the University of California at Berkeley.  She then taught English at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara for three years, during which she studied Spanish and traveled throughout Mexico. She combines literature and history for both American Studies and Global Studies in order to provoke discussions about what she calls "the big ideas." One of Ms. Hansen's favorite quotes: "If you expect an answer to your question in your lifetime, you haven't asked a big enough question" (I.F. Stone).

She encourages her students to examine their ideas and biases and to engage their minds with the world beyond the classroom. In seventh grade American Studies, students view the United States through the Bill of Rights and are always conscious of the responsibilities that accompany a participatory democracy. Global Studies in eighth grade focuses on conflict and its resolution, a focus that grew out of Ms. Hansen's participation in the Summer Institute for Secondary Teachers at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C.

In Fifth and Sixth Grade English, Ms. Hansen teaches the fundamentals such as writing clean, complete paragraphs, reading for symbolism and metaphor in literature, and acquiring the skills to read for information in the disciplines of science, history, and math. Students practice writing responses to questions in complete sentences that include the question in the answer, and they learn how to insert textual evidence as they write about literature and history.

Ms. Hansen obtained a Master's Degree in English at The Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College. As part of her studies, Ms. Hansen spent a summer at Oxford College in England.