Spotlight On: Ms. Hansen


Karin Hasen is one of Urbandale High School’s newest educators this school year. She’s young, she’s spunky, and a lot of students really seem to like her. So let us take a deeper look into one of UHS’ newest editions, Ms. Hansen!

Ms. Hansen was born and raised in Rancine, Wisconsin. For geographical reference, that’s really close to Milwaukee.  

When Ms. Hansen first started school, she had no plans on becoming an English teacher or a teacher at all for that matter. In an interview she said, “I have a lot of teachers in my family and I never thought that would be the path I would choose.”

In her interview, Ms. Hansen commented on her beginnings in college, “I went to St. Olaf to study Biology and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. I remember sitting in Organic Chemistry one day and thinking ‘How is this going to make the world a better place.’”

Just to clarify, people who study chemistry aren’t not making the world a better place, Ms. Hansen just felt as though she could use her passions and gifts elsewhere.

To become a teacher she went to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. There she got her BA in English, Communication Arts, and Literature and Educational studies. She then attended Concordia University – Portland for her Masters in Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

This school year is Ms. Hansen’s fifth year teaching. She taught for four years at Des Moines East High School. She says she absolutely loved her time at East and it holds a special place in her heart.

When asked about her thoughts on Urbandale and how she liked it she replied, “Urbandale is far more diverse than I thought and I love it. I have loved looking into making the classroom rooted in equity and empathy. I love using experiences as a way we understand content, context, and how our own narratives play a huge part in the way we learn. I love changing things up, keeping things fresh, and dismantling the traditional educational ‘way of doing things.’ Urbandale has allowed me the space to do that. That’s cool.”

Ms. Hansen has a passion outside of teaching, calligraphy. Ms. Hansen says that doing calligraphy has helped her navigate her anxiety. She says she loves when things are aesthetically pleasing. She also said she’s still working on her calligraphy skills. If a person were to walk into her classroom, they’d see evidence of her amazing talent.

In the little free time Ms. Hansen says she has, she likes to do a few things. For one, she loves to spend time with her dog, Bjørn. According to Ms. Hansen, Bjørn loves to watch Netflix with her or go on walks and runs. She says she likes doing hot yoga because it’s a good way to help her de-stress. She also FaceTimes her boyfriend, who she says is in London for most of the year, and she also likes to write.

Ms. Hansen is having a blast here at Urbandale. Hopefully she sticks around for more than four years because there are so many more students that have to walk the halls of Urbandale High School. Perhaps the hallway will lead them straight to her fun-filled classroom.

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