LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Deborah Hansen

Position: Drama Teacher
School: Colonial Forge High School
School District: Stafford County Public Schools
City, State: Stafford, VA

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Deborah Hansen was nominated by an anonymous student.

Ms. Hansen has always been there for her students as more than a teacher. They often call her "Mama" because it feels fitting.

"In my personal experience, she has been there for me through so many different phases of my life," said her nominator. "A very close friend of mine passed away, and we received the news while I was with Ms. Hansen and others at school. She let my friends and I sit in her room for as long as we needed. She brought us water and tissues and anything else we needed. Ms. Hansen made sure we were okay to drive home before she let any of us leave, and she had us let her know when we got home safe. She even offered to call our parents to come get us if we did not feel safe to drive home. She was very accommodating with all of us in class as we grieved."

As an educator, Ms. Hansen is very understanding of her students' personal lives and needs, and she makes a tremendous effort to make everything as convenient as possible. She encourages her students to always do better, and she makes sure to recognize their hard work and improvements. She views mistakes as an opportunity for learning and correction rather than utter failure. Ms. Hansen makes sure the drama department is an open and welcoming place for everyone in the high school. She has won Teacher of the Year awards from the county. Her department has also received many awards at the county and state levels due to her skilled direction and leadership.

"Mrs. Hansen makes you feel proud to be a part of our department. She expects hard work and dedication just as we expect, and receive, from her," said her nominator. "She spends countless nights staying up late to make sure things are okay for productions or other events. Her dedication extends beyond putting on a good show. She is dedicated to making a positive impact on every single one of her students."

Comments (4)

Colleen Wieners Posted 8 days ago

Well said and I couldn't agree more! She has everyone's best interest at heart!

Kristin Ekanger Posted 10 days ago

My daughter was a "Drama" girl at Forge all four years she was there. Ms. Hansen was a very positive force for her. She encouraged, she pushed, she was firm, and she was soft. She laughed with the kids and she cried. She supported them through every show and every day in class. She'll always be one of the best memories from high school.

Darcie H Posted 11 days ago

Deb is amazing with her students! She actually cares about their success in the program as well as what their future holds for them! I vote for her because she definitely deserves this title!

Mitchell Posted 11 days ago

Mom, not only are you my mother but you were my sensational instructor for 6 years in both middle and high school. You taught me independence, fairness, and integrity, by never treating me differently as a student. You taught me passion, creativity, and the joy of discovery as you ushered me into a creative world of theatre that I knew existed but never knew the depths of my soul it would reach! I’m now a performer, artistic director of my own theatre company, I’m a podcaster and pursue improv and all sorts of hobbies because of the love you gave me as a mother and a teacher. Thank you thank you thank you.