Since our summer camp begins next week, we would like to shine our spotlight on one of the teachers who will be leading the camp, Miss Hannah Mangum. Miss Hannah, as her students affectionately call her, served this past year as the TCS kindergarten teacher. She is known for her kind, gentle, yet fun and outgoing personality. She has been involved at TCS since she herself was a kindergarten student in 1995. Hannah was enrolled as a student at TCS from kindergarten through 12th grade. She graduated in the top three of her class in 2009. She then traveled to Pensacola Christian College in Florida to continue her education. Afterwards, Hannah returned to TCS to work in the school daycare and K-3 program. This past school year she stepped up to serve as our kindergarten teacher with assistant teacher Mrs. Kathy Siebel. One of Hannah’s favorite things about teaching kindergarten was “watching the growth of the students I had in K-3, just 2 years previously. I liked being able to see the differences in their maturity and knowledge. I got to witness the incredible progress made throughout the year. It's amazing to watch little minds absorb information.” Hannah has had experience with children all her life even prior to working in childcare and education at TCS. She is the oldest of ten siblings and therefore got the opportunity to work with her younger siblings changing diapers, babysitting, and teaching them life lessons.
As mentioned above, this summer Hannah will once again be working with the annual TCS summer camp. She writes, “I enjoy summer camp because it is more relaxed, and I can interact with the kids in a different way than during the school year. My favorite part of summer camp is watching the kids enjoy field trips and other special events. I get happy watching them enjoy events and trips planned to bring them happiness. I feel like their school mom in so many ways, and I want to treat my class like I will want my children to be treated.”
Few would question the gifting Hannah has with kids. She recounts her journey into the career of educating young minds saying, “My heart's desire for as long as I can remember has always been to be "the best wife and mom". I never thought I would be a teacher, but I believe God saw my heart’s desire, and He needed to teach me some things to help enable me to be what I've always wanted. I felt His leading me to teaching, not knowing what was going on and actually at times arguing with Him. I surrendered to pursue teaching and trusted Him to give me the grace I needed to do it. As I entered teaching classes in college, one of my teachers told me I had a gift for knowing how to explain things. This was such an encouragement to me! It was like a confirmation I was following exactly what God had for my life. I'm a deep thinker, which can get me in trouble sometimes, but with respect to education, it's very beneficial. Every "why?" or "how?" my students ask is likely a question I've previously asked and had answered. I want to help students in their discovery of the answers as well. I'm convinced that instead of teaching children what to think, we should teach them how to think. This is something I try to incorporate in discipline and academics in my classroom even at the early age of 3 years old. Instead of just telling a student everything he has done wrong, I ask him why he had to sit out of playtime. Or if they are having trouble answering a question, I ask other questions to help them connect the dots, leading them to the answer. Education isn't just about academics. It builds the foundation of life. I'm with my students for 8 hours out of the day; I am blessed to have a great responsibility to help build that foundation.”
There is no doubt to those who see Hannah with her students that she is indeed gifted and called to children’s ministry and education. She inspires all who see her with her fun ideas and positive personality. Students and parents alike love Ms. Hannah. Aubrey Calhoun from Miss Hannah’s kindergarten class comments, "I like that she's nice, and I like how she sings." Classmate Morgan Kiker says, "She's pretty and explains things well!" Another of Hannah’s students, Sammie Feebus thinks, "She's a really good teacher! I like that she sings. I remember when I was three she helped me across the monkey bars."
Hannah will be leaving TCS in the fall to start a new chapter of her life. She is engaged to be married to Mr. Joey Vara. With this change of title she will be moving to Florida where she has already accepted a teaching position at Florida Baptist Academy as a science teacher for grades 7-11th . She will be teaching Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, Biology, and Chemistry. She is sure to be missed at TCS. Reflecting on her new life path Hannah says, “I will certainly miss everyone here at the school and church. During the four years since college, I have learned a lot, friendships have deepened. I have taught many children and interacted with their families. The memoriesI have are all beautiful and comforting. Still, I'm very excited to begin this new chapter and serve God with the tools He has prepared me with through the TCS ministry. My prayer no matter where I go or what I do as a teacher, wife, or mom, I will live out my life verse: Psalm 90:17 ‘And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.’” Tabernacle prays the same for her and her husband as they start their new life together. May God grant you both happiness and blessings beyond number in the years to come.