Angie Hurtig Gives Students a Learning Experience

Second Grade Teacher  //  Bertha-Hewitt School District


“Connections before content.” 

Ever since her first day of kindergarten when she was five years old, Angie Hurtig knew she wanted to be a teacher. She has a desire for students to get engaged, fall in love with learning, and have a hunger for knowledge.

Before learning, though, Angie believes personal, meaningful connections need to be made so students can really connect. “Connections before content,” is a phrase that Angie has coined as part of her teaching philosophy. It’s evident that her students feel her care and concern for them as many say she makes them feel ‘super special.’

Angie’s positive attitude radiates when her second graders enter the classroom – a place where she’s poured countless amounts of time and energy into creating a unique environment for her students that is prime for learning.

“I could share dozens of examples of innovative lessons that Ms. Hurtig has prepared for her students,” says Eric Koep, Bertha-Hewitt Superintendent. “Several come to mind including numerous educational scavenger hunts around the building, using QR codes to plan differentiated lessons, implementing innovative technology including lego wedo kits, sphero balls and more. Most recently, when the kids arrived back on campus for the second semester, they entered ‘Hurtig’s Hospital.’  Ms. Hurtig spent most of the weekend in her classroom preparing for this lesson and it showed. She had five different stations set up in her classroom as if it were a hospital to teach a lesson on place value in math. These weren’t just your normal stations in a classroom; these stations were sectioned off by curtains to look like different hospital rooms.”

Energy driven by passion & data

In Angie’s classroom, it’s easy to see that her students can feel her passion. But it’s not just passion. Angie relies on data and is even leading the school’s leading their Professional Learning Community (PLC) this year. Her passion and knowledge extends to the Science of Reading, which Angie has taken it upon herself to better equip her colleagues to meet the needs of all Bertha-Hewitt students at the primary level.

“Data is something I believe Ms. Hurtig reviews in her sleep. She understands the importance of gathering data to differentiate her lessons to teach kids at their level,” says Koep. “The progress that her 2nd graders make is unmatched because of her data collection and analysis. It is not uncommon for Ms. Hurtig to have four or five different lessons planned for one academic standard because of the varying levels of students in her classroom. She will do whatever it takes to ensure each of her students reaches their full potential.”

MREA honors Angie as a 2023 Educator of Excellence for her innovation, dedication, and commitment to get results for her students. See more stories of Educators for Excellence.