Hannah Perdue is one week away from graduating from UNLV and the College of Education. In just a few months she will also be starting a career that she has dreamed about since kindergarten. It may be hard to believe but Hannah knew as a very young child that she wanted to be a teacher.
She was lucky enough to have teachers that were engaging and helped cultivate her passion for reading and writing. These teachers may have helped inspire her to pursue teaching as a career, but it was her mother who set the example. Being raised by a single parent can’t be easy, but in her mom, she saw someone who was involved in her life and in her schooling. Her mom volunteered in her schools throughout her early education and stressed the importance of getting a degree. Through her mom’s example she learned to be independent, determined and the value of getting involved in school.
Hannah grew up in Las Vegas. She graduated from the TEACH program at Clark High School. She substituted here in CCSD and completed her practicums here. All of these factors have contributed to Hannah’s growth but she wanted to try something different. During a routine appointment with her Academic Advisor she was told of the possibility to complete Student Teaching abroad. It didn’t take much for Hannah to realize this would be the opportunity to do something different and daring. She yearned for as many unique perspectives to teaching as possible and before she knew it, she was packing her bags for Galway, Ireland. Laptop, phone and Canon camera all ready to capture the experiences that she hoped would make her a more well-rounded individual and teacher. The experience abroad left her with a more open mind, a stronger sense of confidence and helped shape the type of teacher she hopes to be.
If you were to ask Hannah her opinion about substituting in CCSD, she would 100 percent encourage students to take on the opportunity. “It’s challenging to walk into another person’s classroom. Classroom management can be very difficult when you don’t know student’s names. But in these experiences, you learn to adjust on the fly and diversify your skills and talent. It makes you better at what you do. You’ll gain confidence in these experiences,” Hannah said.
Before she can throw her cap in the air and celebrate graduation, she sat in a room being honored for receiving the Kenny C. Guinn Memorial Millennium Scholarship. The room was filled with Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly, members of the Guinn family, College of Education’s Dean Metcalf, faculty, and advisors and Hannah’s mother, grandmother and boyfriend. It was evident that everyone in that room was proud and excited to see the positive impact Hannah will have in the community.
Hannah is looking forward to having her own classroom in the fall when she returns to her alma mater, Clark High School, as a 10th grade English teacher. She plans to put up some travel photographs to help inspire her students to possibilities. Before all that however, she’s looking forward to some down time with friends on a beach in California.
By Daniel Mendoza, M.S.
In 2011, the Nevada Legislature unanimously approved and Governor Sandoval signed into law Senate Bill 220, establishing the Kenny C. Guinn Memorial Millennium Scholarship. The trust fund is used to bestow additional scholarships each year to two qualified Gov. Guinn Millennium Scholars, one each in Northern and Southern Nevada, who are majoring in elementary or secondary education with the intent of teaching in Nevada.