To illustrate the kind of changes Susan Hope has seen firsthand in the Waukee Community School District during her 27 years of teaching there, she recalls a phone call she received years ago from district officials informing her they were unsure there would be enough to students to fill her classroom.
Fast forward to today and filling classrooms is no longer an issue in Waukee where residential and student populations are booming.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, which is why I’ve stayed in Waukee. I’ve enjoyed the changes that have occurred,” she says.
Hope, who was named the school district’s “Teacher of the Year” last year, has taught at many levels throughout the district during her tenure and served it in a variety of roles. These days, she works as an instructional coach, assisting students and teachers at Waukee Middle School.
“My job is to inspire teachers to do things they didn’t realize they could do and to challenge them to think about things in new ways,” Hope says. “I support the teachers any way I can and I also work directly with students. I love it that no two days are the same.”
Hope also helps teachers better understand the district’s core curriculum by attending meetings and sharing information with educators, as well as leading the middle school’s Hyperstream Technology Club which is sponsored by a local insurance company.
“It’s a phenomenal experience for the students that also benefits the school and the community because it encourages students to give something back,” she says.
Hope says she enjoys working with students and staff at the middle school.
“I love the students’ natural curiosity, sense of humor and honesty,” she says. “And the staff is very energized and caring. They go to great lengths to help kids be successful.”