Jan Hankinson was nominated by the assistant superintendent, Della Bell-Freeman.
"When thinking about Mrs. Jan Hankinson, three words come to mind: dedication, passion, and service," said Bell-Freeman. "Mrs. Jan Hankinson, Montgomery County Middle School (MCMS) Family and Consumer Science (FACS) teacher, is one of the most dedicated educators I have met during her 25 years in education."
Mrs. Hankinson dedicates herself to her students, her program, school, profession, and community. She is at school early and is one of the last to leave on many days. She continually strives to find ways to improve her program and the opportunities that they offer for students at Montgomery County R-II. Mrs. Hankinson’s drive to be her best self raises the bar for the entire team at MCMS, and her positive energy is contagious.
Mrs. Hankinson has a passion for her program and teaching students the importance of life skills related to personal development and leadership, foods, sewing, career planning, interior design, babysitting, and family. Her lessons are beneficial, both immediately and in the long term. She seeks out grant opportunities to support her classes and spends hours preparing engaging lessons. Additionally, she sponsors Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) at MCMS. She has inspired students to become leaders within the school and community at large. Students from her rural district have gone on to compete nationally in STAR events, and the FCCLA chapter has received national recognition as well. This is due, in large part, to Mrs. Hankinson’s passion for FACS and FCCLA. She spends afternoons, evenings, and weekends helping students work on their projects, supporting the development of leadership skills, and fundraising to allow the students to compete nationally. Her passion is contagious, which is why Mrs. Hankinson has been recognized for excellence in leading her FCCLA chapter multiple times. Mrs. Hankinson loves what she does; therefore, the students love FACS and FCCLA!
Finally, Mrs. Hankinson believes in serving others. She is approachable and available to students and staff members across the district. Furthermore, she serves others outside of school through community service and outreach through her church. Mrs. Hankinson is a role model for enriching one's life by enriching the lives of others. She encourages her students to have a heart for youth and the elderly. Two service projects that her students have completed which reach these groups are Taste the Rainbow (targeting early childhood students) and creating taggy blankets for nursing home residents. Taste the Rainbow allowed middle schoolers to share information about the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables across all colors of the rainbow with the district's youngest students. The children sampled some new foods and found them to be new favorites. Taggy blankets are sensory blankets that allow people to explore textures, colors and feeling with their hands. The blankets provide comfort, and when they were presented to local nursing home residents, they provided happiness.
"Mrs. Hankinson has inspired her students to make a difference and change lives," said Bell-Freeman. "She has proven that she is a LifeChanger by creating a better school, a stronger community and a brighter future. I believe that this quote sums up why Mrs. Hankinson is a LifeChanger, as she embodies the spirit of this statement: 'The goal isn’t to leave a better world for your kids, it’s to leave better kids for the world.'"