Creating opportunities where there are few or – even none – is one way to describe the passion and vision of Underwood educator Angela Hartman.

Underwood Principal John Hamann ranks Hartman in the top 1 percent of teachers he has worked with in 28 years of administration. “Angela has done a remarkable job in building our Business Department into a jewel of the school,” he said.

MREA honors Hartman as a 2017 Educator of Excellence for her ongoing commitment to help Underwood create the World’s Best Work Force and give students unexpected opportunities that will serve them well throughout their lives.

As a business teacher, Angela believes it is her job to equip students for the workforce. For her this has meant restructuring the courses available at the school. She established courses for students to gain professional computer skills, do career research and planning, and learn personal finance and economics. The latter doubles as college credit for students.

“Personally earning enough graduate credits in Personal Finance and Economics to qualify to offer these classes to our students was a large undertaking, but incredibly fulfilling,” Hartman said. “It’s been amazing to see students from this little town transfer their credits to colleges all over the country!”

In those college level courses, along with two other teachers offering college credit, she began experimenting with iPads as part of the curriculum. The success of the trial led the school to implement a 1:1 iPad initiative for all students from 10th to 12th grades.

Hartman also serves the school by running the school website and serving on multiple committees.  She also took the lead to create non-sport extracurricular activities for students to grow and gain new experiences. This includes starting a chapter of the Business Professionals of America.  She has seen nine members advance to nationals and has had three students place in the top 10 nationally.

“Leaders like Mrs. Hartman, who continually look for ways to create path for students to learn, are such a valuable part of our rural schools,” MREA Executive Director Fred Nolan said. “She’s focused on creating future-ready students to the benefit of employers across the nation.”

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