WITN’S Teacher of the Week: Amy Hahn of Grifton School

PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - WITN's Teacher of the Week for January 9 is Amy Hahn of Grifton School in Pitt County.

Hahn has been teaching since 1996, all of the years at Grifton School. She began as a second grade teacher after attending Pitt Community College and receiving her degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Library Science from East Carolina University. Hahn went to high school at Ayden Grifton High School.

Since 1996, Hahn has taught Title 1 reading, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 2nd Grade, served as the interim Assistant Principal. She is currently the Media Coordinator. Additionally, she is the coach for the school’s Battle of the Books teams and helps with cheerleading.

“As a young kid I always dreamed of being a bag lady,” Hahn writes. “Crazy but in my young eyes a bag lady was a teacher who always had bags full of “fun” stuff to carry home at the end of the day. How cool would it be to have all those awesome bags full of stuff and call myself a teacher?

“Each day my goal is to help students reach their goals and to encourage them to grow into the person they are meant to be,” Hahn writes.

The co-worker who nominated Hahn wrote: “If you could be a fly on the wall and observe all that Mrs. Hahn does for our school on a daily basis, you would find it mind boggling. Besides the usual responsibilities of cataloging, shelving, and organizing the thousands of books in our library, she also teaches library classes to every grade level. She instills a love for reading to all ages and a curiosity to learn about new topics. She has co-written countless grants to add new book sets to our school collection, even creating an entire section of graphic novels to help our struggling readers and new English learners. Because Grifton School houses 10 grade levels, Mrs. Hahn strives to maintain a diverse book collection for all ages, abilities, ethnic groups, and cultures. She also coaches both our elementary and middle school Battle of the Books teams year after year. To offer even more exciting opportunities for our school families, Mrs. Hahn hosts two Scholastic Book Fairs each year. The entire community participates in her Donuts with Dudes, Ladies Tea, and Family night hours with special times for shopping. In addition, she encourages students to reach their individual reading goals by hosting Accelerated Reader celebrations with such treats as popcorn, Smash Waffles, Kona Ice, and a "Chocolate Touch" party.

Besides helping children, Amy also works to assist her co-workers. She helps teachers gather books and other resources to enhance their lessons. She has a plethora of knowledge in regards to websites and interactive games that add to student learning. She serves as a mentor to beginning teachers, and she is my co-captain of the school social committee, the Bulldog Boosters, that works to support staff and boost morale. Amy even stepped in this year to help coach our middle school cheerleaders.

Having been a teacher at Grifton School since the 1990s, Mrs. Hahn witnessed our town/school community struggle through not one but THREE floods. The hurricanes of Floyd, Matthew, and Florence devastated many families and businesses in our little one-stoplight town. Mrs. Hahn was instrumental in reaching out to families to help fill needs, collecting toiletries and canned goods, and even personally delivering meals.

As a thirty year educator, I have had the privilege to work alongside many wonderful, dedicated teachers. Amy Hahn is one of the finest I have had the honor of knowing. Her kindness, her unwavering loyalty to our school and community, and just her love for her fellow human beings make her a wonderful role model and the ideal candidate for the WITN Teacher of the Week.”

Congratulations Mrs. Hahn!

Every week during the school year WITN will recognize a Teacher of the Week on WITN News at Sunrise. The winner receives a plaque and $100 Walmart gift card. To nominate your teacher, email TOTW@witn.com.