Preschool teachers retire after 46 combined years at Discovery | SteamboatToday.com

Preschool teachers retire after 46 combined years at Discovery

A celebration in honor of the retirement of teachers Faith Hansen, left, and Anne Michele Berry from Discovery Learning Center in Steamboat Springs will be held from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at Rex’s American Bar & Grill, 3190 S. Lincoln Ave. All current and alumni families are invited to attend. Hansen and Berry have a combined 46 years of teaching experience.
Kari Dequine Harden

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to include the correct date for the retirement event. A celebration in honor of Anne Michele Berry and Faith Hansen from Discovery Learning Center will be held from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at Rex’s American Bar & Grill, 3190 S. Lincoln Ave.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Over the past 25 years, Faith Hansen and Anne Michele Berry have provided over 500 preschoolers with a lifelong foundation of kindness and respect.

Together, they have 46 years of teaching experience at the Discovery Learning Center in Steamboat Springs, and Tuesday will mark the end of their careers with a gathering of family and alumni.

But both are very quick to say they will continue to substitute teach and will remain nearby and continue to be a part of the Discovery family.

Working with the 4- and 5-year-olds has been as much a ministry as a job for Hansen and Berry, who are both sisters in the Catholic faith.

Hansen grew up in Texas, and Berry was raised in Chicago. They met in Denver before relocating to Steamboat.

Berry joined the Discovery staff first, after Hansen introduced her to Director Tami Havener, who happened to have a lead teaching position open and offered it to Berry after learning she taught elementary and middle school students. 

“I’m so grateful,” Berry said, of her tenure. “I’ve loved it. They are like little sponges and so excited about learning.”

Havener calls Berry the “very essence of nurturing.”

“The relationships she builds with her students are authentic, gentle and encouraging,” Havenar said. “Anne’s presence is soothing and inspirational for all of us. “

Hansen joined the Discovery staff a few years later, finding the work with young children “enriching, playful and meaningful.”

Havener calls Hansen “the very picture of an intentional teacher.”

Teaching in the same classroom, Hansen and Berry are focused on developing young brains intellectually as well as working on the students’ social and emotional skills. And throughout, they have instilled the values and virtues they live by: being kind, caring and respectful to each other as well as the planet and all its creatures.

Hansen was passionate about introducing the kids to science, setting up simple experiments and asking the kids what they observed. She designed lessons to develop both left and right brain skills, as well as problem solving.

“Faith Hansen is a science teacher extraordinaire,” Havener said. “She is awesome with scaffolding her students with critical thinking skills.”

Berry loved teaching her students about nature and caring for the Earth.

While studying the ocean, they adopted a whale, and “experienced how they can make a difference in the world.”

Berry calls the Steamboat community “so wonderful and supportive,” and said she’s loved working with the families who “work so hard to give a loving, caring and safe environment for their kids.”

Hansen said they have a lot of fun when they are in the grocery story and “a 6-foot tall boy” comes up to us to reminisce. “For a person to remember us after all those years has been an incredible affirmative experience,” she said.

The two aren’t sure what is next — they said they plan to spend the summer exploring new ways to be of service in the community, though probably on a more part-time basis.

“They always say Catholic sisters don’t retire,” Berry said.

But they admit they’re ready for something a little less physically demanding than shepherding 4-year-olds.

When asked what she will miss most about the students, Hansen said “their enthusiasm, playfulness and excitement about life and learning.”

Berry said she will miss seeing the growth that happens over the course of the school year and seeing the more confident, competent little humans they become when they head off to kindergarten.

A celebration in honor of Berry’s and Hansen’s retirement from Discovery Learning Center will be held from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Rex’s American Bar & Grill, 3190 S. Lincoln Ave. All current and alumni families are invited to attend.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.

Together, they have 46 years of teaching experience at the Discovery Learning Center in Steamboat Springs, and Tuesday will mark the end of their careers with a gathering of family and alumni.

But both are very quick to say they will continue to substitute teach and will remain nearby and continue to be a part of the Discovery family.

Working with the 4- and 5-year-olds has been as much a ministry as a job for Hansen and Berry, who are both sisters in the Catholic faith.

Hansen grew up in Texas, and Berry was raised in Chicago. They met in Denver before relocating to Steamboat.

Berry joined the Discovery staff first, after Hansen introduced her to Director Tami Havener, who happened to have a lead teaching position open and offered it to Berry after learning she taught elementary and middle school students. 

“I’m so grateful,” Berry said, of her tenure. “I’ve loved it. They are like little sponges and so excited about learning.”

Havener calls Berry the “very essence of nurturing.”

“The relationships she builds with her students are authentic, gentle and encouraging,” Havenar said. “Anne’s presence is soothing and inspirational for all of us. “

Hansen joined the Discovery staff a few years later, finding the work with young children “enriching, playful and meaningful.”

Havener calls Hansen “the very picture of an intentional teacher.”

Teaching in the same classroom, Hansen and Berry are focused on developing young brains intellectually as well as working on the students’ social and emotional skills. And throughout, they have instilled the values and virtues they live by: being kind, caring and respectful to each other as well as the planet and all its creatures.

Hansen was passionate about introducing the kids to science, setting up simple experiments and asking the kids what they observed. She designed lessons to develop both left and right brain skills, as well as problem solving.

“Faith Hansen is a science teacher extraordinaire,” Havener said. “She is awesome with scaffolding her students with critical thinking skills.”

Berry loved teaching her students about nature and caring for the Earth.

While studying the ocean, they adopted a whale, and “experienced how they can make a difference in the world.”

Berry calls the Steamboat community “so wonderful and supportive,” and said she’s loved working with the families who “work so hard to give a loving, caring and safe environment for their kids.”

Hansen said they have a lot of fun when they are in the grocery story and “a 6-foot tall boy” comes up to us to reminisce. “For a person to remember us after all those years has been an incredible affirmative experience,” she said.

The two aren’t sure what is next — they said they plan to spend the summer exploring new ways to be of service in the community, though probably on a more part-time basis.

“They always say Catholic sisters don’t retire,” Berry said.

But they admit they’re ready for something a little less physically demanding than shepherding 4-year-olds.

When asked what she will miss most about the students, Hansen said “their enthusiasm, playfulness and excitement about life and learning.”

Berry said she will miss seeing the growth that happens over the course of the school year and seeing the more confident, competent little humans they become when they head off to kindergarten.

A celebration in honor of Berry’s and Hansen’s retirement from Discovery Learning Center will be held from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at Rex’s American Bar & Grill, 3190 S. Lincoln Ave. All current and alumni families are invited to attend.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.


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