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Q & A with an Ankeny Educator: Meet Mrs. Delaney

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

We're back this week with another round of questions and answers from one of Ankeny's finest educators, Mrs. Ashley Delaney!  You all know how we feel about the amazing people teaching, leading, and influencing our community's students and Mrs. Delaney is no exception!  Won't you join us in taking a minute to meet this dedicated wife, mom, and teacher?

Name:  Ashley Delaney

Position:  ELP teacher at Southview

Number of years in education:  11

Years taught in Ankeny:  2

Family:  Brett, Brynn (3), and Kiernan (1)

Hobbies:  Food is my passion.  I love to cook and garden.  There is something lovely about eating what you grow and appreciating nature’s ability provide nourishment.  I also enjoy reading with my children and outdoor activities.

 

What is the best thing about teaching in Ankeny?

The best part about teaching in Ankeny is the people.  I thoroughly enjoy my colleagues and the families I work with. 

 

What gets you excited about the direction that Ankeny schools are heading?

I sincerely believe teachers want every student to learn and grow daily.  They work tirelessly to develop learning opportunities for students that are developmental appropriate and interesting.  The community rallies around these passionate professionals to help make this possible.  It is wonderful to see families, business, and other stakeholders work with educators to make our schools outstanding.

 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is keeping up with my students.  Day-to-day what I am teaching depends on what students need.  One day I could be extending a Physics concept and the next I could work with analyzing poetry.  Their needs and outstanding abilities never cease to impress me.

 

What motivates you?

Being a part of the development of a child is the greatest honor.  I believe it truly does take a village to raise a child into a well-rounded, empathetic citizen of the world.  As a parent, I want my children’s teachers to feel the same way.  I treat my students as if they are my own.  Ultimately, I want all of them to understand their intelligence and education doesn’t make them above the world, it makes them responsible for it.

Q & A with an Ankeny Educator: Meet Mrs. Lynam

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

This is the time of year where we all tend to count our many blessings.  And we think that all of us can agree that Ankeny has certainly been blessed with a LOT of outstanding teachers!  We want to take the time to recognize and get to know a few of these fabulous educators.  So, our Q & A series with Ankeny Educators continues!  Up today?  Mrs. Lynam! 

Name:  Heather Lynam

Position:  Special Education, Northview Middle School

Number of years in education:  10

Years taught in Ankeny:  This is my first.

Family:  Husband Sean, daughter Keelyn {4}, son Easton {18 months}

Hobbies:  spending time with my family, all things Pinterest

 

What is the best thing about teaching in Ankeny?

The best thing about teaching in Ankeny is the high level of understanding and support from administration and colleagues. 

 

What gets you excited about the direction that Ankeny schools are heading?

I am really excited this semester with our professional development on differentiation of teaching and learning.  Our goal is that ALL students will learn, and sometimes it takes thinking outside of the box for that learning to occur for some of our students.  I am so glad to see students with special needs integrating into the general education environments more and more.

 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

I was an elementary teacher for nine years, so moving to an 8th & 9th grade building is quite different.  I find myself spending more time honing my skills in pre-algebra and US Studies.  I also am working on implementing the newly released Essential Elements for students with significant disabilities that align with the Iowa Core.  These Essential Elements will allow for students to receive the same core standards that the general education students are receiving in a modified way.  It will provide for more rigorous teaching and learning.

 

How would your students describe you?

Fun, loving, and serious when I need to be.

 

What motivates you?

Knowing that every student in our building deserves the chance to have the very best education they can receive.  When my students have their “a-ha” moments and generalize skills in other areas, it makes me want to push myself and them harder.

 

What is typically the best part of your day?

The moment when the kids walk in the door.  The “Hi Heather’s”, high five’s, and their overall excitement to be back for another day of learning.  

Q & A with an Ankeny Educator: Meet Mr. Ruff

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

We're back this week with another edition of an Ankeny teacher get-to-know-you session.  At Ankeny Real Estate Service, we feel strongly that without awesome TEACHERS, our school district can NOT produce amazing, intelligent, and well-rounded students! Nothing makes us more proud than a true professional dedicated to our students AND this community!

And with that...let us introduce you to Mr. Ruff!

Name: Aaron Ruff    

  

Position: Physical Education at Prairie Ridge Middle School

 

Number of years in education:8

 

Years taught in Ankeny:5

 

Hobbies: Coaching, Reading, Cheering for the Cyclones, Bears and Cubs

 

What is the best thing about teaching in Ankeny?

Teaching in Ankeny is a privilege. The students, families, teachers and administrators are a joy to work with. Above all else the best thing about working in the Ankeny Community School District is the mindset that whatever is best for the students is what will be done.

 

What gets you excited about the direction that Ankeny schools are heading?

As we keep growing as a community our schools keep up and are always doing good work, work that is best for the students of the community. 

 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Balancing the time in all the extra-curricular activities that I am involved in with Ankeny Community School District. 

 

How would your students describe you?

Fun, Fair and Nice

 

What motivates you?

Seeing students and athletes achieve beyond what they thought they could do.

 

What is typically the best part of your day?

 Working with kids and seeing kids achieve their personal goals. 

Q & A with an Ankeny Educator: Meet Ms. Varnum

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

We're back this week with another edition of an Ankeny teacher get-to-know-you session.  At Ankeny Real Estate Service, we feel strongly that without awesome TEACHERS, our school district can NOT produce amazing, intelligent, and well-rounded students! Nothing makes us more proud than a true professional dedicated to our students AND this community!

And with that...let us introduce you to Ms. Michelle Varnum!

Name: Michelle Varnum

Position: 2nd Grade teacher at Terrace Elementary

Number of years in education: 3 years

Years taught in Ankeny: 2 years

 

Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, playing with my puppy, running, Cyclone football and basketball games

 

What is the best thing about teaching in Ankeny?

As an Ankeny High School graduate, I feel so fortunate to be teaching in the district I grew up in. Ankeny is a wonderful community filled with delightful families and students. Ankeny Community School District is very supportive of its teachers; the opportunities that I am offered as an educator for learning and growth are endless.

 

What gets you excited about the direction that Ankeny schools are heading?

Although it was difficult to see happen as an Ankeny graduate, I am excited to watch the community continue to grow and develop with two high schools. No matter the high school, Ankeny Community School District as a whole is unified in its commitment to prepare all learners to achieve a lifetime of personal success.

 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

As most people feel, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. The most challenging aspect is to balance planning meaningful lesson plans, implement the lesson plans, and then respond to what students need based on what was taught.

 

How would your students describe you?

I hope my students would describe me as a role-model who is determined, hard-working, and likes to have fun while learning.

 

What motivates you?

When I see my students succeed or experience the ‘light-bulb’ moment, my heart beams with pride for them. It is such a rewarding feeling to see that the work I am doing is providing my students with knowledge and achievement.

 

What is typically the best part of your day?

I love greeting each of my students at the door in the morning and high fiving each of my students on the way out the door at the end of the day. Although it’s quick, the one-on-one interaction with each student is so valuable to form solid student-teacher relationships.

Q & A with an Ankeny Educator: Meet Mrs. Weesner

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

With all the changes happening in the Ankeny Community School District, it is proving difficult to keep up on the latest.  And while the community as a whole is trying to adjust, we at Ankeny Real Estate Service believe that it is important to remember that there are hundreds of teachers working tirelessly with one common goal in mind: to educate our students.  For this reason, we'd like to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of those educators on a regular basis.  From personal interests, to an insider's perspective, we hope that our Q & A's with an Ankeny Educator series will help us all to remember that there are real, committed people working to ensure that our Ankeny youth are being taught to the highest of standards.

So, without further ado, we'd like to introduce you to Mrs. Weesner!

Name: Molly Weesner

Position: 6th and 7th Grade Health Teacher at Prairie Ridge Middle School

Number of years in education: 9 years

Years taught in Ankeny: 5 years

Family: Tim Weesner Ellie, Cecilia, and Maggie

Hobbies: Being with my family, Cheering on the Cyclones, Gardening, Crafting, and Running.

What do you consider the best thing about teaching in Ankeny?

Ankeny is such a great community; what I enjoy most is teaching where I live. After living and teaching in Ankeny for five years, I am constantly running into current and former students here and there. For example, right now my daughter is playing softball and I currently have two of her teammates’ siblings in class. To me that is so fun. Even though the population in Ankeny is growing it still has that small town feel.

What gets you excited about the direction that Ankeny schools are heading?

Currently, we are learning about Standards Based Grading. I think it is great to be able to give students more detailed feedback for where they are with their learning. I think we are headed in a great direction.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging aspect of my job as an educator is balancing all of my roles. Not only do I have to teach my content material, I also need to provide feedback, discipline, and praise, build relationships with students and coworkers, grow professionally, be part of school committees and more. At times it can be a bit overwhelming, but that is also what makes education a great field. Every day is different and there is never a dull moment.

How would your students describe you?

I hope my students would describe me as caring, fair, and fun. I want my students to work hard but we also like to have fun in health class.

What motivates you?

Coming up with creative and fun ways to help middle school students understand that their health is important and for them to understand that what they do now does impact their long term health motivates me.

What is typically the best part of your day?

My favorite part of my day is when I arrive at school in the morning and my room is all quiet. I get excited to see what the day will bring. There is always something great in every day.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5