Editor’s Note: Yukon Public Schools’ 11 “Teacher of the Year” finalists are being profiled in The Yukon Progress. Finalists were selected by their peers to represent their respective school sites. A committee comprised of past YPS winners and professional development site representatives will meet to select Yukon’s new Teacher of the Year. They will review portfolios prepared by the 11 finalists. The announcement will be made March 26 during “The Event” – the annual YPS Teacher of the Year banquet.
Brandy Hackett has been named the 2019-20 Teacher of the Year for Yukon High School.
This is Hackett’s second year teaching English at Yukon High School, but she is in her 12th year as an educator. She previously taught in Arizona and Missouri.
Hackett graduated from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. with a degree in both English and French. She graduated with an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Hackett started and leads the Faculty Book Club at the high school as well as participating in the literacy, writing, and student engagement committees on campus. She also serves as an IT mentor, helping teachers with learning technology.
Over the summer, Hackett earned Level One Certified Educator from Google.
Hackett believes that building relationships with students is more important than any other single thing an educator can do.
“More than all of the tricks and tips you can learn about teaching, relationships trump it all,” she said.
Hackett’s biggest tip for new teachers is to keep all the positive notes from students in a binder so that when they are having a bad day, they can look back and remember why they teach.
“I did that, and after 12 years, I have several binders spilling with them!” she said.
Hackett is known for her love of llamas.
“They don’t look like much: They’re a little goofy, really fluffy, and seem very ungraceful,” she said. “The truth is, these animals are extremely tough and strong. They have a potential in them that most people can’t see.
“So many of our students are like this. They shut down because they don’t know the potential they carry within them. They just need someone to show them that potential. That’s what teaching is all about.”