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.