Hannah McDermott is new third-grade teacher at Reede Gray Elementary School

Troy Krause
Hannah McDermott is teaching third graders at Reede Gray this year.

When Hannah McDermott was in the seventh grade, she had a life science teacher who had an impact on her and ultimately played a role in her decision to be a teacher.

According to McDermott, to this day Ms. Chaplinski from Stillwater Middle School is her favorite teacher and the best teacher she ever had.

“She was so enthusiastic, funny, kind and passionate about teaching science,” added McDermott, “and, most of all, I knew how much she cared about me.”

Following her 2013 graduation from Stillwater High School, McDermott began the pursuit of her career path in teaching at the Mankato campus of Minnesota State University. She graduated with a degree in elementary education.

“I have always loved working with kids. It is really fun to watch kids learn and grow and to see their curiosity for the world around us,” explained McDermott. “I want to be a constant, kind, encouraging, supportive light to each child who walks into my classroom.”

During the current school year, McDermott is teaching math, language arts and science to third graders at Reede Gray Elementary School.

“I enjoy working with kids at any age, but I was excited to start teaching with third graders, because it’s a fun age where they are gaining independence and enjoy learning and being silly," she added.

As an educator, McDermott indicated she wants to emulate her seventh-grade life science teacher by creating the same kind of positive learning environment and community in her classroom where all students feel safe, welcomed, valued, cared for and truly loved and have fun learning.

When McDermott started the 2020-21 school year in the Redwood Area School District, she also started her career as a school teacher.

“This is my first year teaching,” explained McDermott, adding she did two semesters of student teaching at the fifth-grade level and had some other classroom experiences.

McDermott indicated that her mom graduated with a degree in music education and taught band in schools for several years. Coming to work in the local school district was an opportunity McDermott felt she just could not pass up.

“It seemed like a good place to start my teaching career,” explained McDermott, who added she also has a friend working in the school district who loves working at RASD and told her about the open teaching position.

“This year has been challenging in many ways, but I really do love it so far,” she added. 

According to McDermott, her colleagues have been helpful, kind and wonderful to work with, and she has a great mentor.

“My students are amazing kids who make it all worthwhile,” indicated McDermott.

McDermott enjoys spending time with her family. She has two sisters, one brother, two nephews and her mom.

“We spend a lot of time together and are a close-knit family,” added McDermott.

Both of her sisters are nannies, and McDermott added that is what she was doing before starting her career in education. Her brother owns a car detailing business, and her mom is an in home daycare provider.

When she is not in school, McDermott enjoys spending time in nature, hiking, going on adventures with her sister, reading, cooking, yoga, traveling, doing arts and crafts and spending time with her family and friends.