At the beginning of the school year, many new teachers joined the Hug High School staff. However, one teacher started a little later into the year than the others: Ms. Mack, an art teacher of six years. Having previously taught at Traner Middle School, she decided to make the move to Hug because of her professional goal of teaching at the high school level. “I didn’t have to say goodbye to my students; I got to say, ‘see you later!’” said Ms. Mack. She is very happy to be at Hug. She says that “so far, I have seen that the students here are creative and loyal.”
She thinks that making a connection with students is very important and it can help by getting to know them. “I like to try to individually check in with each student and get to know them. Even if it’s initially to talk about a project, I like to take that moment to check in with how they are doing that day. Each day, I can learn a little bit more about who they are,” said Ms. Mack. She is always learning from her students and loves seeing them find their voice. She believes in positive feedback and has learned not to take some things too seriously.
Her teaching style is more of a guide rather than a teacher, with more student-led learning. “The students will lead their learning, but I will give them the support to help them while on the sidelines making sure that they all have the skills and tools to succeed,” said Ms. Mack. She became a teacher because she was inspired by her teachers and the confidence they gave her when she was younger.
Her biggest accomplishment was starting an art club at her former school in upstate New York. “I taught in a very rural area in New York, and it was challenging to have access to the arts. As a club, we raised money and I was able to take a large group of students to major cities each year to go to art museums and see the history, culture, and food of that area,” Ms. Mack said. In the vein of clubs, she is trying to start an Outdoor Adventure Club at Hug High School. Her passion for outdoor activities led her to teach rock climbing outside the school and she loves to snowboard and mountain bike. She is very excited to start her time here at Hug and hopes that this year will bring her the opportunity to start this Outdoor Adventure Club.