LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Stephanie Hageman

Position: Alternative Education Teacher
School: Watertown High School
School District: Watertown School District 14-4
City, State: Watertown, SD

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Stephanie Hageman was nominated by her principal, Michael Butts.


Stephanie is the key to a successful alternative education option for students in her community. She helps students master concepts that they may have missed when struggling in a previous course. Not only does she help students understand math material, she also connects with them on a personal level. For some of her students, Stephanie is the only trusted adult in their lives. She assists their growth as a young adult, by helping them become successful in school, at work and in life.

She builds well rounded individuals, as the work they do together is much more than math. She is the team leader for the Alternative Education staff, and plays a key role in the local Education Association in her school district. Stephanie also mentors young teachers across the state as they begin their teaching career. Perhaps the most rewarding work that she does is her role as a Night School instructor. Night School is open to students who have dropped out and wish to return, but day school may not be the right fit for them. Students that still long to earn their diploma, can participate two evenings each week in the program.

Stephanie has helped dozens of students complete the missing pieces to earn their diploma. These student's educational careers have been disrupted by their lives, and this program gives them a chance to earn back their education. They all need a compassionate, caring adult to help them navigate the way back to earning a diploma. "Steph feeds them physically and intellectually every time they arrive in Night School," Butts said. "She teaches them, mentors them and loves them. She has been a key LifeChanger for many."

Stephanie Hageman In The News:
WHS’s Hageman nominated for LifeChanger of the Year award 

Comments (7)

Karen Jaskulka Posted over a year ago

Steph, You have a special way of working with these students. You are firm and yet they know you care. Thanks for what you do and are for these students.

Angel Posted over a year ago

Hageman you are the best teacher I’ve met. I know I can be a pain in the butt but you’ve helped me come through most o my life problems. Congrats

Lisa Ulrich Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Steph! You are so deserving of this nomination!

Barb Nelson Posted over a year ago

This is well deserved recognition for all the work and heart that you put into working with students who need an alternate path to success. Well done, Steph!

Julie Posted over a year ago

Stephanie has made a huge impact on many students in our school! She works with students who have many needs: social, emotional, career and academic. Often these students have no one who supports and encourages them in school or at home. Stephanie is steadfast, hardworking and determined to meet the needs of her students regardless of how big or small the need is. She respects students and staff and is a positive role model to others adults in our building. Stephanie is a LifeChanger, one student at a time. She is truly deserving of this!!!

Caryl Bunkowske Posted over a year ago

Thank you for all you do for ALL students, Steph! This is a well-deserved accolade!

Mike Butts Posted over a year ago

Steph has changed the lives of so many and we are forever grateful! Thanks Steph!