Thursday, December 22, 2016

Under new management: changing of the guard in AP English

Mrs. Chanski teaches her AP English students.

This year saw a changing of the guard for Hamilton’s AP English program.

Mr. Bill Moreau, who started the AP English program at Hamilton, retired from the district after 36 years of teaching. He has moved on to teach at Hope College full-time.

“It was probably time to try another professional challenge, and Hope contacted me about an opening in its English Department.” Mr. Moreau said. He’s taught at Hope on a part-time basis for the past 29 years, so he said it seemed like a reasonable move.

“Our first “experimental” batch of students from the Senior English class took the AP English exam at the end of 1995-96 school year. Our first real AP English class was taught during the 1996-97 school year. That means I taught AP English for 16 years.” Mr. Moreau said.

One of his former students, Mrs. Sarah Chanski who started teaching here at Hamilton last year on a part-time basis has taken over the class.

He believes Mrs. Chanski was a fine choice to take over the AP English position.

“She’s a dang good teacher,” Moreau said.

He said that she got a “5” (the best score you can achieve) on the AP English exam when she was a student at Hamilton, so she knows her stuff.

Mrs. Chanski says it is an incredible experience to be the new AP teacher, and the class is an excellent opportunity for her to be challenged by great literature and brilliant students.

“I love coming to school because of my AP students,” she said. “It was a very easy decision to accept the offer to teach this class. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing because I love books so much.  So, I knew this would be a perfect class for me.”

Mrs. Chanski says she likes to spend her Saturdays reading the books the Tale of Two Cities or A Thousand Splendid Suns.

She is following the same materials as Mr. Moreau, but she has a different style, so the day-to-day feel of the classroom is somewhat different.

Mr. Moreau had many great accomplishments at Hamilton.  In the middle of his career at Hamilton, he was granted a one year leave to teach at Farlingaye High School in England.  So, he took his family with him that year, 1994-95, and returned to start the Hamilton-UK exchange program that is still up and running.

Mr. Moreau said the idea for the AP English program came to him from teaching something similar in England.

“The first year we had 9 students; my last year we had 82 enrolled in the class,” Mr. Moreau said.

So, he helped build up the AP English class we have today, and that Mrs. Chanski has taken over from him.

She said she loves Hamilton and the teachers. She plans to stay with us for a long time.

 

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