The student media site of Blue Springs South High School

The student media site of Blue Springs South High School

The student media site of Blue Springs South High School


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Band director has no treble being Teacher of the Year

Hansen is directing his band students to get to the right tempo. He has been chosen as South’s teacher of year this year. (Jackson Larue)

In the earlier periods of the morning, many students can usually hear a melody coming from the band room. That’s where newly named South teacher of the year Ken Hansen directs music.

 Hansen is humbled to be chosen as South’s Teacher of the Year this year.

“I was pretty overwhelmed, you know, very shocked or surprised,” says Hansen, “Obviously, I come to work every day, wanting to be good.”

Hansen feels very honored to be picked among the other teachers.

“The teachers in this building are incredible,” he says.

Junior Avery Wells is not surprised that Hansen was named Teacher of the Year.

“He is an absolutely amazing teacher,” says Wells. “He is always there if you need help.”

In his classroom, Hansen has tried to make a community that strives to be great and loving.

“In order to be successful, we have to be teachable. And in order to be teachable, there’s several components that really help to do that. But the two main components are: you have to be loving and forgiving. That understanding that we’re all doing our very, very best and we’re going to love each other. And that we forgive others when they’re going to struggle,” says Hansen.

Hansen doesn’t just implement his kindness at South, for part of the day he is at Delta Woods Middle School helping the middle school students become the best musicians they can be.

“I really feel strongly like if I can’t teach a beginner, I don’t know that I need to be teaching the highest level. Both of those things are really, really important. And I think it just helps build our connections of relationships and all those things that eventually come along,” says Hansen.

Sophomore Erin Butcher who plays bassoon, among other instruments, enjoys how he cares for everyone.

“He kind of takes the role of making sure everybody’s okay,” says Butcher, “And he’s a very funny person at times. So, it makes spending the hours that we spend in band a lot more fun.”

However, Hansen didn’t always want to be a musician, and a music teacher even less so. His dad was a music director for most of his life.

“I got to grow up kind of watching bands, which meant that I didn’t want to be a band director. Because I was Bob’s son my whole life,” says Hansen.

He soon changed his tune when he played under Colonel Arnald Gabriel, an honor band director, who was the United States Air Force band conductor at the time. He saw the way the music had moved Colonel Gabrial as he was conducting.

“And it was that moment that I realized that music had a different impact on me,” says Hansen. “I thought, I want to figure out how to create environments and cultures where we can have these kinds of experiences where we understand that music just as impactful.”

Since being a high school musician, he can play trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, and some flute.

With the space that he has created in his classroom, the best part of teaching to him is the relationships that are created.

“My favorite part is this the relationships we have. So, band is so different. Because I get a chance to watch … sometimes a sixth grader all the way to 12th grade, like watching them change and grow and have that journey and just know that this is where they are on that journey,” Hansen says.

Wells admires what Hansen does for his students.

“He has always been willing to help every single student improve individually,” says Wells.

Even being teacher of the year, Hansen still finds challenges in teaching. He says that students now have different problems that they deal with and that it can be difficult to help them.

“We have to change how we do, what our methods are,” says Hansen, “And I’ve tried to adjust along the way, and I feel great about what I’ve done, but it’s ongoing. Next year will be different, and we’ll switch to something new.”

However, he loves that his job changes as time goes on.

“That’s the great part about it, is that there really aren’t ever two years that are the same. Especially for me, I don’t ever want two years the same,” Hansen says.

Hansen will go on to compete for the district teacher of the year.

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