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th 1300 40 Street NW – Rochester, MN 55901 - (507) 328-3400 Fax: (507) 328-3395 Grade Two Team Gage Elementary 1300 40th Street NW Rochester, MN 55901 June 3, 2009 To whom it may concern: We are pleased to have the opportunity to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Kate Hanke. We have had the pleasure of working cooperatively with Ms. Hanke during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years. As team members of Ms. Hanke, we had numerous opportunities to directly observe her as she interacted with students, staff, and parents. As a second grade teacher at Gage Elementary School, Ms. Hanke worked with a diverse group of students, including students of differing racial, cultural, religious, and socio- economic backgrounds. Ms. Hanke makes school interesting and fun for her students. Ms. Hanke is very hard working and extremely well-organized. Analyzing data, collaborating with her colleagues, and creating work to enhance the curriculum attest to Ms. Hanke’s aspiration to continually improve her instruction and be an active member of our team. Ms. Hanke has written essential outcomes, common assessments, and data analysis graphs used by our grade level team. She also has a tremendous technology background, and has instrumental in creating data resources for our team. Ms. Hanke is a positive and energetic worker. She handles herself with poise, confidence, and professionalism, even when the unexpected occurs. It is obvious that she cares for each child as an individual in the way she interacts and motivates the children to learn. She is continuously putting in extra time and effort with students to help ensure their success. We have enjoyed getting to know and work with Ms. Hanke. We know that she will pursue her chosen career enthusiastically, responsibly, and professionally. We strongly recommend Ms. Hanke for any teaching position, and know she will be an asset to any school setting and team. Sincerely, Grade Two Team Gage Elementary Melody Thompson Cassie Wilson Stacy VanBenschoten Stacy Borgschatz Shayna Wood April 8, 2010 Gage Elementary School 1300 40th St. N.W. Rochester, MN 55901 To whom it may concern: I am writing a letter of recommendation on behalf of Kate Hanke, second grade teacher for my son’s class at Gage Elementary School. My son, Samuel Hager, would probably not be considered your traditional student. His needs have proven to make him a more demanding student in the classroom. At the end of the previous school year my son had problems with listening to direction, getting into fights, with other students, and other general disciplinary problems. At the beginning of his second grade school year we saw a dramatic change in Sam’s behavior problems and grades. In addition we received a lot of reports from Sam about what his teacher was doing in the classroom and how much he liked school, also a big change from the previous school year. The change I noted was Mrs. Hanke’s firm but caring command of the classroom, which I credit to the change in my son’s behavior. She handled discipline swiftly and appropriately and gently pushed him to go above and beyond his current level of performance with rewards and praise. During Parent Teacher Conferences, she gave us detailed reports of what Sam was doing in the classroom, what she felt he needed, and what she was doing to take care of his needs. Additionally, when I had any concerns, she encouraged further communication via e-mail and phone calls. Underlying all that was discussed was her concern for his well being and a genuine joy and pride she exhibited in her work. It’s hard to express the feeling of security that’s provided in knowing that you child is in good hands. I fully support Mrs. Hanke’s teaching methods and style and hope to see more teachers like her in my son’s future. Sincerely Maria L. Hager Maria Hager Parent of Gage Elementary Student 507-281-2118 th 1300 40 Street NW – Rochester, MN 55901 - (507) 328-3400 Fax: (507) 328-3395 April 16, 2009 LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION FOR KATHARINE HANKE To Whom It May Concern: I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation for Mrs. Katharine Hanke. Mrs. Hanke is currently a Second Grade Teacher at Gage Elementary. She has taught second grade at Gage for two years. Mrs. Hanke demonstrates many qualities needed to be an effective elementary teacher. Mrs. Hanke builds positive relationships with students. She uses a variety of strategies to accelerate the learning of all her students. She uses data to drive her instruction. Her classroom is well organized. She has a positive attitude and is flexible. Mrs. Hanke has an excellent rapport with her students. She is able to work with students with challenging behavior. She has done an excellent job differentiating her instruction to meet the needs of the very diverse learners at Gage. Mrs. Hanke has high expectations for her students and helps them meet these expectations. Mrs. Hanke has worked effectively as part of the Second Grade Processional Learning Community. She uses data to inform her practices. I highly recommend Mrs. Hanke for a teaching position. Sincerely, Kim McDonald Gage Principal To Whom it may Concern: I am writing this letter in appreciation of the exemplary work of Kate Hanke. I know that all of the teachers at Gage have a lot to deal with on a daily basis. I have witnessed first hand on the many trips I have made to her class . Mrs. Hanke has her hands full every second of the day with children that have such different personalities and attitudes. My son included. Mrs. Hanke manages to take all of the distractions and learning lessons in stride. She is a hard worker with a positive attitude in the midst of obviously being short handed for the majority of the year. Mrs. Hanke walks her student through their work from beginning to end, ensuring a very valuable learning experience that will benefit them in future academic endeavors. It has been my experience, however, that most of the parents do not give enough credit to the teachers who help guide their children down the right path of education. Mrs. Hanke is the teacher that I can rely on to teach my son at school as much as I teach him at home. Thank you for your time, and thank you for investing in my child's future by hiring teachers that really make a difference. Yours Truly Jenna Underwood April 21, 2009 This letter is written in full support of one of the finest teachers that I have had the privilege of interacting with in quite some time. I have known Kate Hanke for a couple of years and have the pleasure of working intimately with her when she instructed my daughter last year. During that time, I noted that Kate had the patience and dedication required a great teacher and truly had the student's best interest at heart. Last year, I worked with Kate to implement a strategy for an intelligent, yet misbehaved child. This child was my own. Kate developed a system of daily communicating with me on a daily basis so that I would know how my daughter's behavior progressing. It was a simple chart colored green, yellow, or red based on the behavior for that particular day. She sat down with my daughter, explained how the chart would work, and filled it out daily. This simple technique worked wonders! My daughter was focused on having Green days (green = good) and her behavior significantly improved. Did the chart take a little extra time? Of course, it did. But, that is just one example of how much Kate truly cares about her students. Kate is definitely willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of her students. I can say that is she an exemplary role model and a great inspiration to the students. Any student in her class will remember the lessons she's taught them for a lifetime. Kate has the capability to impact the future. Under her guidance, not only do the students learn, but parents learn too. She is a great teacher and resource and would clearly be an asset to any educational institution. I recommend her highly. Sonya J. Trapp Parent of an Inspired child May 4, 2009 To Whom It May Concern: We are pleased to write this letter of recommendation in support of Katherine Hanke. Katherine is currently our nd daughter’s 2 grade teacher at Gage Elementary, and we have enjoyed interacting with her throughout the past year. Our daughter, Samantha, has greatly enjoyed this school year, and we know that is mainly because of her teacher. When we asked Samantha what she liked about Katherine, she enthusiastically mentioned several things, including Katherine’s patience, her ability to explain things well, her reward/discipline system, and her organizational skills. As parents, we likewise feel that these are the characteristics that make Mrs. Hanke an excellent teacher. Mrs. Hanke’s current class has many challenging students. She has been able to deal with these students without spending all of the class time on them. We feel that this comes from her focus on positive reinforcement as a discipline strategy. The positive reward system currently used in the classroom is one of our daughter’s favorite things. It benefits all of the children, and encourages each to improve. Katherine has done an outstanding job communicating with us about our daughter’s progress in second grade. We receive updates at the conclusion of each math and reading unit indicating our daughter’s performance. Katherine is also an advocate for gifted programs, and recommended many of her students to take the appropriate placement exams. We recommend Katherine to you without reservation. If you have any questions with regard to our recommendation, please do not hesitate to contact us. Sincerely, Jess and Sarah Thompson (507) 282-2736 Cristina Garza 5013 Middlebrook Dr. NW Rochester, MN 55901 May 6, 2009 To Whom It May Concern: I was very sad to hear that Mrs. Katherine Hanke was laid off due to the budget reduction costs in the Rochester School District. Mrs. Hanke has been a great teacher for my son Haaris. I would like to say with all honesty that a few teachers go the extra mile to help students with discipline problems like the ones my son had this year. Mrs. Hanke took it upon herself to help Haaris change his behavior by implementing positive reinforcement in the classroom. I am very thankful to have her as my son’s teacher this year, I really am. She believed in my son and did not gave up in helping him improve. I have to say that it was very challenging, and I admire her for consistently following up with him. Mrs. Hanke maintained almost daily communication with Haaris’s dad and myself for a few months until it was no longer necessary because she was able to turn around his behavior. My son was very proud of her because she took him for lunch to reward him for his success. He has developed respect and trust for her. I would do whatever I could to see her stay, as she is in fact one of a kind person and teacher. If you have any questions you can feel free to call me at 507-250-5394. Sincerely, Cristna Garza Ms.Hanke has worked well with my child this year. She was very respectful of my questions and concerns of my childs learning when i brought it up at conferences or if i called her such as my child saying he was to bored that he already knew this stuff but the other children in his class did not, so are goal was to challenge him a little more. my child likes her and has not expressed any concerns to me. He seems happy with school and does not complain about going or not wanting to go. thank you peggy back April 7, 2010 To whom it may concern, I’m writing on behalf of Mrs. Hanke, my daughter Amelia’s second-grade teacher at Gage Elementary School. From our first meeting she has always displayed the highest amount of professionalism, while at the same time demonstrating a genuine concern for all of her students. I have met with her several times since then and it is obvious that she loves what she does and is very good at it. I sincerely believe it is largely due to Mrs. Hanke’s guidance that Amelia has excelled this school year. My daughter has come to love and trust her teacher, and because of that her learning experience has been a very positive one. In addition, I also appreciate that Mrs. Hanke has always taken the time to address any questions or concerns that that I may have. With wide-spread budget cuts and emphasis being placed on over-sized classrooms throughout the the state, I have to say that I feel very fortunate my daughter is getting a high-quality education due to the efforts of this incredible teacher. Ira Glassberg 651-331-8175 To whom it may concern, Mrs. Hanke was my second grade teacher. Second grade was one of my favorite years and Mrs. Hanke was one of my favorite teachers. During second grade we learned cursive, started learning to type, and had reading packets. I completed 21 reading packets and got to go out to lunch with the principal. The summer after second grade Mrs. Hanke took me to a movie, "Game Plan," as a prize for finishing my 21st packet. Mrs. Hanke would be a great teacher at your school. She is strict, but not too strict. She was happy when I did good work. And she made it fun to come to school. Hadley Lange 4th grader, Ben Franklin Elementary Rochester, Minnesota To Whom It May Concern: This letter is in reference to Mrs. Katherine Hanke. Mrs. Hanke is my daughter's second grade teacher at Gage Elementary. I have enjoyed having Kate as my daughter's teacher throughout the 2009-2010 school year. Sammie enjoys school and has advanced significantly in her academics this year. Only the involvement with a good teacher can do that. Kate has been wonderful with communicating with parents by her weekly "Peek of the Week" newsletter. Any other important information is sent home promptly from the classroom. Kate has always responded promptly to my emails about concerns or issues involving my daughter. She is very willing to troubleshoot or adjust as need to help Sammie succeed. I believe Kate's teaching has been a benefit to Sammie this year. I feel Sammie is well prepared to enter third grade this fall. Sincerely, Bonnie Holden To whom it may concern: Kate Hanke was my daughter Hadley's second grade teacher at Ben Franklin elementary school. It was a pleasure getting to know her. She was always upbeat and smiling, had a positive attitude, and seemed to truly enjoy her job and her students. My daughter, Hadley, is an avid reader. Kate encouraged Hadley's love of reading, not just through the usual measures of assigned reading and reading logs but through other fun, creative avenues, such as guided reading packets (Kate told Hadley to run with them, and she did - she took 5 of them with her on spring break) and reading to the class (Kate read several books aloud to the class, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Ramona the Pest.” I told Hadley that this is very special and that not all teachers read these great books aloud to their class. I know it is something Hadley will always remember about second grade.). Kate also recognized Hadley's love of reading by letting her read short stories aloud to the entire class. I can't tell you how proud it made Hadley feel to sit at the head of the class and read a story to her classmates! As for out-of-classroom activities, I had the pleasure of working on the Second Grade Book Swap with Kate. Kate served as the lead teacher working with our small group of parent volunteers. Together we worked with the second grade teachers, students and parents to collect more than 300 previously-read books and then set up a book swap where the students could browse over the books before picking two or three to take home to read and keep. I recommend Kate for any teaching job she may pursue. Kate made school interesting and fun. Hadley came home every day with something to tell us about school: a new story they read, game they played or long-term goal they were working on. As a parent, that means a lot! Lindy Lange To Whom It May Concern, This letter of recommendation is in regards to Mrs. Katherine Hanke. Our student, Alexander Larson, attends her second grade class. At each point of contact with her we have found her to be respectful of our son, us as parents, and our views concerning his education. Alex can be quite a handful and she has gained wonderful insights as to how she should respond to him in class and otherwise. During conferences she has always presented herself professionally and has been well prepared to answer our questions. There have been times that direct communication has been necessary and in those instances she was straightforward and had solutions in mind. Both of us and Alex have enjoyed this school year with Mrs. Hanke. She is a gifted teacher and we regard her highly. Thank you for your consideration of our opinion. Best Regards. Todd and Jodi Larson Vera Ndumbe 1328 50th street Nw Rochester Mn 55901 April 8, 2010 To whom it may concern, Letter of Recommendation I have known Mrs. Hanke since the school year began and she has made a difference in my son’s Steve Ndumbe’s life. Mrs. Hanke gives me positive feedback on Steve’s achievements and work with me on areas that need improvements. I have seen tremendous improvements on Steve academics and social activities thanks to Mrs. Hank: she is very polite, honest and ready to work with me in all areas to make sure her job as a teacher is effective. She has set up a website where I can see activities and news about my son and she responds swiftly to my questions. She cares deeply about what she does and most importantly she cares about Steve. I am very pleased to have Mrs. Hanke as my son’s teacher. Thanks Vera Ndumbe Parent of Steve Ndumbe April 06, 2010 Dear Reader, My son was moved to Gage due to the rezoning of elementary schools this school year. He was having a very hard time adjusting to the new school especially because he was being bullied and seeing others being bullied. He did not want to continue to attend Gage. My husband and I contacted his teacher, Kate Hanke to discuss the issues our son was facing. Kate was very engaged and wanted to understand my son’s concerns as well as ours. She worked with our family to make a more comfortable environment for my son. Kate moved his desk near boys he got along with and had him enrolled in a friendship group with the school social worker. She kept in contact with my son during the day to see how he was doing. Things did not improve too much at first. Kate brought the Vice Principal, Mr. Cashman to conferences to discuss other ways the school and me and my husband could work with our son to make him feel safe and happy while at school. The steps we all took helped my son be comfortable going to school and is happy when he comes home. I appreciate her concern for my sons experience at school and wanting his time at Gage to be good for him. Sincerely, Julie Pavelko I am writing this letter in regards to Katherine Hanke, My daughters second grade teacher, Katherine Hanke is one of those teachers for my daughter Sabrina, that have made an impact and great impression to last a lifetime. She has always taken the time to talk to her about any and all of her concerns. She is always willing to lend her a hand on anything she may need help with. Sabrina is a child with PKU ( a special genetic condition) Katherine had taken the time to read up on PKU that I had given her, and she makes sure everyday that my child is following her diet , especially when it comes to snack time. I have always been able to address any questions/concerns ( though not many) to Katherine via email. She has always responded promptly and professionally but with feeling and compassion. I am grateful that Sabrina has a teacher with as much caring, time, patience and love that Katherine Hanke does. One other thing I would love for you to know, Sabrina gets in the mail encouraging postcards for jobs well done at school and thank yous from Katherine! It makes her DAY! and makes her feel so special. I wish and hope that all teachers learn from Katherine Hanke, and see what a wonderful impact/teacher/role model this lady is for our children. Thank you.! Romana To whom it may concern, May, 2009 In the school year of 2008-2009, I have had the pleasure of working with Kate Hanke. My son was in her second grade class at Gage Elementary, and was part of an accelerated math group that met every other week. I have communicated with Kate via email on several occasions about my son, and she has always been quick to respond regarding any questions or concerns. I always felt respected as a parent, and my inquiries were always handled professionally. Her “Peek at the Week” was a wonderful communication tool. She communicated her expectations clearly and highlighted what the class would be focusing on and what the needs of the class were the following week. As a member of the Gage PTSA, I always felt Kate was approachable, friendly, and professional. She displayed a genuine, caring attitude for each student. Kate was able to provide a wonderful learning experience in her ethnically diverse classroom. I believe she was able to reach all student's learning potential to the best of their abilities. Most importantly, my son enjoyed learning under her guidance. Kate has a passion for teaching and would be an asset to any faculty. Feel free to contact me with additional questions, as I highly recommend Kate as a wonderful person and educator. Sincerely, Jennifer Stromme Gage parent 507-252-8627 Feedback from Administrators Mrs. Hanke is an educator who is willing to continue to push herself to improve. It shows a lot about your character that you are willing to get feedback. Thank you for who you are as a teacher and as a person. You are truly making a positive difference for the students. Please know that you hold my utmost respect. Whether I am at Gage next year or elsewhere I will consider you a respected colleague. Mrs. Hanke has a larger class size and I was impressed by her ability to gauge the students engagement throughout the guided reading. Mrs. Hanke is well aware of the engagement level of each of her students and has a plan in place to re-engage those who are distracted or off-task. Classroom is organized, warm, and welcoming. Students and teacher treated each other with respect. Students were encouraged and given feedback from the teacher. High expectations were communicated orally and reinforced both verbally and with tangible reward. Directions were given orally and clearly stated. Corrective feedback was given promptly. Mrs. Hanke has contacted parents to keep them informed about student issues and progress. Mrs. Hanke has had parent meeting to discuss parent concerns or expectations for their student. Mrs. Hanke is professional in her dealings with all staff, students, and parents. She meets her professional obligations and timelines. The students were engaged and treated each other and Mrs. Hanke with respect. Mrs. Hanke is warm, friendly, and respectful. Students are excited to talk with her. Mrs. Hanke has developed a positive rapport with students and routine for the students. Mrs. Hanke is clear in her expectations and uses positive reinforcers. Mrs. Hanke has become a valuable team member. She works well with the other 2nd grade teachers and is helping them organize student data. Mrs. Hanke has reached out to students and families in her class as well as other classrooms. Parent Feedback Garrett told me, unsolicited, that he is happiest in the classroom because you are there. I think he means that he won’t get hit or teased when you are there and it is just the kids in his class. He doesn’t like recess because “there are only two para’s to watch out and he might get bullied.” He said he has been feeling better after you set up a time for him to meet with the social worker. The only thing he likes about school is you. I think Mrs. Hanke is doing everything well from what I can tell. My son who had so many problems and still does has really made some big changes this year. He is much more excited about school and talks highly of Mrs. Hanke. The special attention Mrs. Hanke has given my son is already over and above what I have seen in the past. Thank you Mrs. Hanke for being such a great teacher. Hi Kate- I am surprised to hear you resigned --what a loss for all the kids and parents at Gage! I would be honored to give you a fabulous reference--Amelia blossomed under your guidance in a less than perfect school. She will be saddened to hear you are leaving. Please use me--remember, I'm a GREAT salesperson! :) Best of luck and you will be in my thoughts--I'll send positive vibes to the universe for you! Lori Hi! We wanted to wish you well and know that you will be missed. Nate and myself really enjoyed you =) But, just for the record, Nate loved having you for a teacher, I thought you were a great communicator and wonderful teacher as well. You'll be missed!!! Take Care, Jen Kate, Thank you for getting back to me!! I'm sure whatever is going on in your life it will all work out for the best. It is unfortunate that you had to leave. Ahnika will bounce back as well as the other students, but it will be an adjustment, and they will miss you. I will tell Ahnika that you said "hello, or good-bye" Best of luck and let us know if there is anything that you need. Amy Co-Worker Feedback Kate has taken her time after school to help one of my students and his brother with their homework. You definitely went above and beyond. Thank you. Kate has taken much extra time to work with a student and his family. Kate has spent hours after school helping this student. She has made family contacts and has worked as this family’s personal school liaison. She has truly made a difference in this student’s life and has been instrumental link in helping this family become a member of the Gage community. By the way, this student is not a member of her class; he is my newest third grader! Thanks to Kate’s efforts he loves Gage. Kate gave up her computer time with her students one week so my fifth grade students could have additional time to practice for the MCA’s.
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