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 (18)

andrew Posted over a year ago

it's amazing the amount of work and parts of you, that you give your students to grow, flourish and cherish their time at colonial forge high school

Alissa Hansen Posted over a year ago

thanks for being a support system, a friend and a teacher. it was always a pleasure to come into your class to have fun and put in some work

Victoria Davis Posted over a year ago

She legit made me love acting something that Has changed me forever, as well as being the funniest teacher in my whole high school career! ??

Lilly Mamon Posted over a year ago

Ms. Hansen has been an inspiration since day one. She has always been so supportive of me and my aspirations, as she is with all her students. No one deserves this title more. I’m certain that she has been a life changer for many years, and it’s time that we tell her!

sydney lazerson Posted over a year ago

mama, thank you for all you’ve done for me. words will never be enough to express how thankful I am for you. you always know the right things to say, the right time to give us hugs, and never fail to put a smile on my face. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than you! Thank you for all you’ve done!

Grace Liston Posted over a year ago

Love you lots mama! You revere this 3000% without a doubt!! You do so much for everyone and we couldn’t be more grateful

Aidan Brown Posted over a year ago

I have a lot to say but let me sum it up like this: A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! You are never gonna a meet such a sweet person. Ms. Hansen is such a strong person, she has been through so much (and no, I’m not just talking about all the rehearsals and sucky kids). She deserves every amazing thing life gives her, she has earned it! Did I mention she is also funny? Caring? And an outstanding teacher?

sydney lazerson Posted over a year ago

Mama, you’ve been here at my worst and at my best. You’ve been a shoulder to cry on and gave me hug when i needed them. Words will never express how thankful I am for you. You deserve this and so much more, love you tons !

Sarah Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Hansen always makes her students feel welcome. Whether it be in class or in theatre productions I’ve never felt like I couldn’t go to her for help or to add an idea or anything. It’s very refreshing and frankly extremely valuable for students’ creativity, potential and in a lot of cases mental health to improve and flourish. She’s a wonderful teacher and an amazing person.

kelli coleman Posted over a year ago

For sure, one of the best teachers I’ve had!!

F. F. Posted over a year ago

She has made such an impact in my life, guiding and supporting me ever since I joined the Forge Drama program. She's a skilled director, giving the right amount of feedback yet facilitating an apt amount of creativity so that we may play the role to the best of our abilities. Though I was unable to take Drama my senior year, she still expressed concern over my health and encourages me to continue my acting and writing career. She is an amazing teacher and Forge would not be the same without her.

Penelope Gransbury Posted over a year ago

Everything in this profile is spot on!! Having her as one of my teachers really helped teach me what it means to be a leader and, of course, all about the amazing art of theater! She absolutely deserves this!!

Nia Williams Posted over a year ago

I love you, Ms. Hansen!

Claire Schietinger Posted over a year ago

I don't know how you cast your vote so I'm going to leave a comment. She was my drama teacher in Spotsylvania High School over 15 years ago. She has left a lasting impression on me because not only was she my teacher she was a comforter when I needed it, a friend when I needed a laugh and the strict parent when I needed to get my act together! She deserves this so much! Can't think of a more deserving teacher!

Colleen Wieners Posted over a year ago

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

Kristin Ekanger Posted over a year 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 over a year 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 over a year 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.