We are delighted to announce Mrs. Florence Hahner as OLPH 2018 Teacher of the Year.
This is an especially esteemed honor as it is a peer-nominated award. It is based on:
- Evidence of dedication to Catholic education
- Years of service to the school
- A passion for education and comfort with innovation
- Providing a positive and professional classroom environment
- Rapport with students, families, and colleagues
Mr. Pellechia gathered all nominations and made the announcement at our Catholic Schools Week Mass on February 1st. Mr. Pellechia praised Mrs. Hahner for her 23 years of service to OLPH, citing that she is always willing to offer students extra support, is a role model of Christian virtue to her colleagues, and consistently works to bring out the best in each student. Mrs. Hahner’s name will also be forwarded to the Archdiocese for consideration in the Archdiocesan wide award. The Archdiocese of Baltimore re-instated this annual tradition of selecting a teacher of the year on the Archdiocesan level, and OLPH School has followed suit at the school level.
Our mission revolves around the core principle of helping children to grow and learn in an environment centered on Christ. Mrs. Hahner is the paramount example of a master educator dedicated to helping children grow in heart, mind, and soul. Through reflective teaching, study sessions, and tutoring help, she is committed to going extra the extra mile to help students learn and gain the much needed confidence to become lifelong learners. Parents respect Mrs. Hahner’s wisdom and guidance because her insight helps them in their parenting. As a parishioner, she will often be seen at Mass speaking with alumni families and students about their accomplishments after leaving our school. In all of these, her faith remains central to who she is as a teacher and mentor. She has spearheaded our school’s spiritual theme this year and decorates the front bulletin board monthly with the pictures of students who exemplify the fruits of the Spirit. As Academic Dean, Mrs. Hahner serves as PowerSchool Admin, coordinates our calendar and schedules, and assists with middle school discipline. Her fingerprint can be found on every aspect of the school, and she does so because of her great love for the OLPH community.
Mrs. Hahner brings the perfect balance of caring support and challenge to her instructional approach. She often jokes with students that math should be their favorite subject, and her love of learning becomes infectious to her students. She wants children to grow in confidence and emphasizes that mistakes are ok because they help us to learn and grow. Mrs. Hahner begins her classes with what she calls “HOT” topic questions, as these are higher order thinking questions to help children get their wheels turning. She has seamlessly and passionately integrated new technologies in her classroom, like interactive projection and utilizing online resources through the school’s 1:1 Chromebook program. She has been instrumental in the selection of new texts and led the effort to research a digital supplemental math program that would help children grow in number sense and computation skills. Her official and unofficial mentoring of both new and veteran staff validates that professionals around her seek her guidance because they value the insight of a master in their craft.
Mrs. Hahner is attentive to her own growth, taking advantage of various webinars and training opportunities. She is an early adopter of new technologies, and was one of our first faculty to move to interactive projection upon receiving a grant from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. Mrs. Hahner utilizes her experience and love of education to help mentor new staff and help them grow professionally. One teacher said, “I am a new teacher to OLPH this year, and I find that Florence’s spiritual faith to be a great source of comfort to me. She has prayed for me and told me that I will find my way and am doing great things. She has often hugged me and said, ‘I am thrilled to be working with you.’ That is so uplifting considering her years of experience. She may never know what an impact she has had on my life and my teaching.”
Mrs. Hahner was genuinely surprised and so very humble upon learning of the award, sharing she feels like she has the perfect job because she works with the perfect group of people. She finished this special day with an email to faculty and staff which stated, “I am sitting here tonight trying to find the words that say ‘Thank you.’ I am very honored and humbled that in this amazing group of people you have chosen me. I think of each of you and all the reasons that each of you could have been chosen Teacher of the Year. I am blessed to be a part of the OLPH family. My prayers will be long tonight as I thank the Lord for OLPH and each of you. Tomorrow will be the last day of a Catholic Schools Week I will never forget. “