LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Dr. Walter Hanna

Position: Librarian
School: Duane Keller Middle School
School District: Clark County School District
City, State: Las Vegas, NV

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Dr. Walter Hanna was nominated by his colleague, Ryan DeVries, who submitted the nomination on behalf of Dr. Hanna's principal, Brittney Nuanez: 

"Dr. Walter Hanna became our librarian at the beginning of the 21-22 school year. He has dramatically altered the efficacy of our library," said Nuanez. "Before his tenure, our circulation was declining, and students rarely entered the library voluntarily. He has reorganized our collection to be more student-friendly and updated the environment to be a welcoming and engaging place. Our students have positively responded to the changes, and our circulation has sky-rocketed. Our students are now begging to go to the library before school, during lunches, and after school. Additionally, he has maintained many of the responsibilities he held before becoming the librarian, particularly regarding teacher support, training, and student success tracking. Dr. Hanna works tirelessly to ensure that all members of our school community have equitable access to the resources they need to succeed as teachers, students, and individuals."

Dr. Hanna has long been a cornerstone of Keller Middle School, serving as a member of the licensed staff team for over 20 years. He never hesitates to assist where needed and is an incredible advocate for students and staff. Dr. Hanna works tirelessly to maintain a positive climate and culture at KMS, both in his personal interactions with every member of the school community and by helping to mediate any conflicts that may arise between other members of the community. He is a frequent sounding board for administration, teachers, support staff, and even students, and he will always take time out of his own responsibilities to help anyone in need. He is also a tremendous help to new and struggling teachers, whether assisting with technology, instructional strategies, or just listening to anyone who needs an ear. Dr. Hanna also assists with WIDA, PSAT, and SBAC testing. His assistance is invaluable as both a voice of reason and a logistical ace. Again, his knowledge and willingness to help with anything that needs to be done makes him an exemplary employee.

"When we lost our Site Based Tech at the end of August, Dr. Hanna stepped up and assisted us with our technology needs," said Nuanez. "He personally made sure that every student had a working Chromebook. When our order of new Chromebooks was delivered, Dr. Hanna stayed after school for several days to direct a team and participate as a team member in preparing to issue the Chromebooks to students. He actively works with parents and students to ensure that there are no issues with student accounts that would cause problems for the student in the future. He also maintains our school website to ensure that all students, parents, and community members have the most up-to-date information. The circulation of library books checked out has drastically increased as well. We have checked out over 850 physical books this school year and 65 ebook checkouts. Last year's library circulation for the entire year represented an over 2000% increase over the last full school year before the pandemic. It is fantastic that we are reaching this many students with books for a school with just barely over 1000 students and an extremely high ELL rate."

"Dr. Hanna is our JV Quiz coach and runs the after-school library program as well," said Nuanez. "Again, he has worked to make the library a place where students and staff alike want to be, often making purchases out of his own pocket to ensure that the library experience is positive for all students. He also works very hard to ensure that students feel safe and represented in the library, whether it's through interactions or with the titles he selects that end up in library circulation. For these reasons and more, Dr. Hanna should be considered for the LifeChanger of the Year Award."

Comments (16)

Gloria Duarte Posted 10 months ago

Dr. Hannah was always very gracious in offering to help me use the learning management system and school district grading programs that we used when I worked with him at Keller Middle School. He always made time to answer my questions and guide me through the necessary steps to maneuver in these uncharted waters! His kind persona always made him very approachable. He also helped make district testing procedures a breeze for the teachers administering the tests in the classroom! Dr. Hannah is an overall kind and caring person. On a personal note, without knowing my son, Dr. Hannah made a large donation to my son’s nonprofit fundraiser to help him reach his goal and be able to participate in a 7 day cycling event. I can’t think of anyone more deserving that makes a difference in the lives of students, teachers, and the community at large.

Mr. Rob Posted 11 months ago

I met Dr. Hanna last year when I started at Keller Middle School as Substitute Teacher, he is always helpful and willing to assist. He makes the library a fun place for the students which creates an environment that makes learning fun.

Liz Posted 11 months ago

I have worked with Dr. Hanna for almost 11 years and he is a life-changer for our students, staff, and the community. Dr. Hanna has worked at Keller Middle School for over 20 years in a variety of different capacities. No matter what job title he held in the school he was always there to help students and all staff members. He is a mentor to new and veteran teachers, myself included. He also supports our students in any way he can. Last year, when he took on a new role as the school librarian, he made some significant changes to the library to increase circulation and literacy for our students. As a learning strategist, I work out of the library and have been able to personally see the increase in books physically checked out and the presence of students in the library. This is something I never saw in past years at Keller. He has also worked very hard to build up our selection of eBooks, which was an amazing resource for students during the pandemic, and one they have continued to use now that we are back face-to-face. There is nothing more satisfying as an educator than seeing students light up when they see the book they have been waiting to read, or even better when they come back and talk about what they read and are just glowing. Dr. Hanna has made this happen for so many of our students and will continue to encourage reading and literacy.

Zack Posted 11 months ago

Dr. Hanna is definitely a life-changer for the school community he serves. He has been working in the same school for many years, and has done his utmost over all of those years to help the students in the school. I have worked with Dr. Hanna for almost nine years, and in that time, he has also supported all of the teachers in our building. He works to support and mentor new teachers and helps all teachers in the building to benefit outcomes for students. I work closely with Dr. Hanna in the library, and his leadership in this position has resulted in a huge increase in the utilization of the library, which helps increase literacy in the school.

Karen Smallwood Posted 11 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Walter Hanna while I was the principal of Keller Middle School. He was a valued member of our staff. He served as the Title 1 liaison and kept copious notes to report our budget and news worthy related events. As staffing changes were made he never hesitated to volunteer to move to another position. He held numerous leadership positions at the school but never sought recognition. He was always the behind the scenes type of guy. His extensive knowledge of technology and programs allowed the school to move forward in embracing its use. Because of him I increased my technology skills and was introduced to many innovative ways to use it. He was instrumental in facilitating a roll out of iPads when we were one of a few schools that was awarded a technology grant years go. As a classroom teacher he was patient and well liked by students. He was equally respected by staff as they frequently looked to him for assistance regarding technology. His ability to "go with the flow", adjust and carry on was invaluable and served the school community well. Keller MS serves a diverse and challenging community but Walter was committed to make a difference and continues to do so. He is most deserving of this award as well as many others.

Aaryanna Posted 11 months ago

Dr. Hanna is a great teacher! He is very sweet, kind, and caring. He cares about all your needs. He makes sure you do eat something. Dr.Hanna will also check up on you if you feel upset. Overall he is a great teacher.

Hannai Posted 11 months ago

Dr. Hanna is a fantastic teacher. He is always so sweet, kind, and is so helpful. He cares for all his aids and is so generous. I always feel comfortable in his class and never have any worries.

Candace Ingram Posted 11 months ago

I would like to support Dr. Hanna's nomination. I have known Dr. Hanna for close to 5 years. He is a very kind, person with keen insight, and an amazing ability to lead and teach. He guided me in my beginning steps as a licensed teacher on staff, especially in the area of all the digital tech and platforms used within our educational system. He is a vast source of knowledge and continues to share and help others develop their professions along the way. In summary, Dr. Hanna's dedication to building healthy professional and learning environments are assets very much needed on campus and in the field of education. He is the right choice for Lifechanger of the Year award.

Rosalynda Odom Posted 11 months ago

Walt was always there to help. He was knowledgable and helpful. More importantly, Walt was kind, funny, and always personable. He had a great way of making everyone feel special.

Savanh Skvarek Posted 11 months ago

I have known Dr. Walter Hanna for the past six years. When I became the dean at Keller MS, Dr. Hanna became one of my champions. As the new dean at a pretty tough middle school that already went through a few discipline administrators within a few months' time, I had my hands full with a full load of teacher supervision, testing, transportation, technology and discipline. He supported me with anything that I needed him to do. Even though Dr. Hanna was not the site based technician, he offered to train our new SBT and ensured that all of our students had a working device. When he saw that I had a heavy workload, he advocated to my principal for me, letting the principal know how hard I was working. He used his extended time at Keller to acclimate new staff to the school, so they understood the students and policies that would help with the transition. What is most noticeable and appreciated about Dr. Hanna is his love for students. He always volunteered to offer his help no matter the time or situation. Dr. Hanna is not only generous with his time when it comes to kids, but, he is also generous with his money. He never hesitated to open his pocketbook to purchase supplies whenever he knew that kids needed things. I could always count on him to make sure that students came first.

Alan Perez Posted 11 months ago

Is very good at keeping things in order and providing for the students.

Anthony Agudo Posted 11 months ago

I have been a student aide since last year, and to be honest, it has been the best elective I have ever picked. Dr. hanna changes the whole mood in the library; he improves everything. I sometimes get on his nerves because I get too hyper but he tries to tell me to chill in the nicest way possible. Dr. hanna will do anything for you with no hesitation and if he cant do it its because he has a good explanation you can count on him for anything!!!

Kenslee Demes Posted 11 months ago

I've only known Dr. Hanna for a short time but in the time I have, he has been the best librarian ever. I have never been unhappy in the library. Whenever I'm having a bad day I walk into the library and my day immediately gets better.

Joshua Guidote Posted 11 months ago

Dr. Hanna is the cornerstone of our school. He is hardworking and always willing to lend a helping hand. From students to staff, he is one of the most beloved educators I have come across in all my years of teaching. Dr. H is a catalyst for positive change, a reason for teacher retention and a pillar of stability in the ever changing landscape of education.

Andrew May Posted 11 months ago

Dr. Hanna worked at Keller Middle School when I was first hired as a first-year teacher. At the end of the first Semester, I was actively looking for a new profession, struggling to build relationships with students, teach effectively, and manage my classroom. Dr. Hanna served as an invaluable mentor for me, demonstrating what an effective teacher looks like. Dr. Hanna showed me how to build strong relationships with students while setting clear expectations in the classroom. He encouraged me when I was struggling and was a constant ear when I was struggling. I am now in the middle of my tenth year as an educator at Clark County something that would have been impossible without Walt's friendship, mentorship, and constant support.

Ms. Jessica Grant Posted 11 months ago

Dr. Hanna has been my colleague at D. Keller Middle School for 7 years now. His professionalism and kindness to all staff and students have been acknowledged by many. Dr. Hanna always makes the effort to help and assist when asked upon. It would be fantastic if Dr. Walter Hanna was considered and chosen for the LifeChanger of the Year Award!