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By Yelena Serrato/The Hesperian-Beacon—
FLOYDADA – Dustan Hahnel, a San Antonio native, will be joining the Whirlwind staff this coming school year as the new sophomore and junior English teacher.
Mr. Hahnel received his associate degree from San Antonio college. He continued his academic pursuits at Texas Tech University where he attained his bachelor’s degree. Hahnel currently resides in Lubbock. “I moved up here and fell in love,” he expressed.
When asked what attracted him to the district, Mr. Hahnel responded with, “I was recommended by another principal, and after talking to FHS Principal Wayne Morren I was sold. I was really hoping I got the job. It seemed like a perfect fit. Students here have the opportunity to receive an associate degree while in high school and that is something I wanted to be a part of.”
Before news of his arrival to the Whirlwind community, Hahnel was an M.A. student at Texas tech and a graduate part-time instructor. He taught English 1301-1302 while studying. This year will be his first time teaching high school students.
However, teaching is not a foreign environment for Mr. Hahnel. “I have a lot of teachers in my family. My brother is a teacher and my grandma used to be a school bus driver and teaching assistant,” he explained. “It’s something that a lot of my family members have done. It kind of seemed like a calling. Once I was in front of a class at Texas Tech teaching, I was just reassured that this was something I wanted to do. Once I got in front of a classroom it was a whole different ball game. It reassured everything for me.”
“One of my goals this year is to build my students’ reading and writing. Once we instill confidence, the skills will come. I want to help them build confidence in themselves as readers and writers.”
For Hahnel, the best of teaching is watching students grow. “It is that moment when you make that connection with a student. When you see when everything clicks for them. That aha moment is one of the most rewarding aspects. Watching them apply those skills in other subjects and they see how everything intertwines. That’s one of the best moments.”
Mr. Hahnel may be new to the community, but he is no stranger to small town pride.
“I know how the rural community is,” he said. “I love it. It’s a great connection to cultural pride and the town itself. I am very excited to be in Floydada.”