Hans Hanson

Prairie Wind Middle School eighth grade teacher Hans Hanson has been named the Perham Education Association Teacher of the Year for 2023-24.  

“It is exciting. You see other teachers get it and you feel for them,” Hanson said. “It is really a nice honor to be nominated by your peers. I was excited.” 

Hanson was nominated and selected by his professional peers based on his 30-year career as an educator in Perham, according to PEA’s Ryan Hendrickson.  

“Hans combines a strong work ethic with an old school understanding that technology should not replace instruction,” Hendrickson said. “Hans exhibits the ability to meet his students where they are academically, while making learning enjoyable and fun.” 

To be selected and named PEA Teacher of the Year, a peer must nominate one of their coworkers for the award. Hanson said one of the most rewarding parts of it is knowing he was nominated by a fellow instructor.  

Hanson has taught in Perham for 30 years, focusing on seventh and eighth grade math and said he has really enjoyed working for the Perham-Dent School District.  

“I think this district has your back and they support you,” Hanson said. “The kids are great. There is something new every day. Over the years, I have seen Perham grow and sustain, I am just happy I made that choice.” 

Hanson said you do not really know the impact that you have on the students until you see them later in life in the roles that they have chosen and the impact they are making.  

“It is full circle. I have some of my past student’s kids coming through with the second generation,” Hanson said. “It’s really rewarding that way.” 

One of his favorite things Hanson said about teaching is the relationships he has made with the eighth-grade teaching staff throughout the years.  

“The eighth-grade teachers that I teach with, I have been with most of them for a long time. I have had some wonderful relationships and friendships with them outside of school and inside of school,” Hanson said. “The staff here at the middle school likes to have fun and when you enjoy coming to work every single day, that’s very important.” 

Hanson follows in a line of great teachers that have been honored as Teacher of the Year and he said it is honor because he has seen the work they have put in.  

“Some of those people that have been nominated I have known for a long time, and I have seen what they have done,” Hanson said. “To be in the same breath as some of those that have been PEA Teacher of the Year is honorable. There are some excellent teachers who are still here teaching that were Teachers of the Year, and some who have retired. It makes me feel good.” 

Hanson has excelled out of the classroom as well, leading the Perham Baseball program for 19 years and the girls basketball team for four years as varsity head coach. He also has helped at a variety of various levels with both programs.  

“Hanson epitomizes the traits and qualities of being a great representative of the great instructors at ISD 549,” Hendrickson said. “We thank Hans for his dedication and commitment to the students of ISD 549.”