Growing up in Havelock, Iowa, Judy Hacker wanted to help people, and she found that opportunity in education – not only with youth but adults, too.
Having earned a degree in K-12 home economics from Iowa State University by way of Waldorf Junior College, Hacker began her education career in Fulda where she taught home economics to junior and senior high students.
“I taught everything from tailoring to consumer education,” she said, adding she then moved on to Jeffers where she provided similar education courses. “There were six hours in the school day at Jeffers. I had 11 preps for every day.”
When Hacker moved to Redwood Falls she began working as a substitute teacher in area schools and ultimately began providing Title I services in Franklin.
Hacker, who has spent 40 years in education, began as a reading teacher at Reede Gray Element-ary School in Kinder-garten and first grade.
She has also been involved in Title I, and during her time in the local district helped to develop the English as a second language (ESL) program.
“I’ve been working with ESL for a lot of years,” she said.
Being involved with students in Grades K-12 who have varying degrees of English understanding from those who need a little bit of help to those who come in and do not speak any English at all has been challenging but rewarding.
“I really love working in ESL,” she said.
Hacker has also spent time working with adults through the community education adult basic education program.
Helping people improve their skills to become productive members of their communities has also proved to be very rewarding for her, said Hacker.
Although she is retiring from her roles in the local school district, Hacker said she plans to continue working with adults in the area.
Over the years, Hacker has worked in summer school programs, helped with the SACC program and in Fulda she coached.
Hacker said she believes now is the time to retire, and in retirement she hopes to spend time volunteering.