I appreciate the chance to highlight an outstanding educator from the School District of Fort Atkinson, particularly from Rockwell Elementary School – Mrs. Jessica Hansen.

My relationship with Mrs. Hansen began ten years ago as I joined the Rockwell team as their new Principal, but Mrs. Hansen’s relationship with Rockwell began back on her first day of Kindergarten as she entered Mrs. Leibman’s Kindergarten class at Rockwell.
Who would have guessed that four years later a boy named Drew would join her class in Fourth Grade and would one day become her husband. Mrs. Hansen reassured me that theirs was not a story of love at first sight and that they reunited and they didn’t date until much later.
After graduation from Fort Atkinson High School, Mrs. Hansen pursued a career in education and has found her way back to Rockwell for the past 12 of her 15 years in education. She has served the students and families of Rockwell as a classroom educator of grades K-2 and has served as the Rockwell Reading Specialist. Mrs. Hansen’s passion and caring for her students was exemplified as she facilitated her role as a Reading Specialist during a global pandemic. Teaching students who are struggling readers to become strong readers takes a special gift, but doing it from different locations over Zoom is unfathomable and Mrs. Hansen did it with the grace and determination she shows each and every day.
When considering a staff member for today’s honor, I invited staff to provide input into the recipient. Here are some of the reasons Mrs. Hansen’s colleagues have provided on her behalf. Jess has worked tirelessly this year with her class. She has made sure that her class is learning both curriculum and life skills as they move through second grade. In addition, Jess always helps to make Rockwell a fun and friendly place to be. She is an important member of our Social Sunshine Committee and organized fun staff Fridays in February. If you happened to be in the building on one of those Fridays you may have been asked, “Do you have a duck?” Jess navigates each day with much grace and compassion. She continues to grow as a leader and a learner.
She comes to school each day with a smile on her face and a positive attitude. She models true perseverance for her students. She is an amazing teacher! It is for these reasons and so many more that I am honored and humbled to present to you, Drew’s wife, 3rd grader Elle and 6th grader Lily’s mom and Rockwell 2nd Grade Educator, Mrs. Jessica Hansen.
Author: Jill Kessenich, Fort Atkinson Club President