The Harbinger Online

Eastipedia: Hannah Pence


East is home to alumni and teacher of 20 years Hannah Pence. She was here when East didn’t have air conditioning and teachers worked on blackboards, and she isn’t thinking of leaving the whiteboards and new laptops anytime soon. In addition to math, Pence has been involved with StuCo in her time at East.

“East is home to me,” Pence said. “It’s the only high school I’ve ever known.”

Pence teaches Calculus AB, Statistics, Intro to Stats, Discrete math and Algebra 1. She wants students to have fun while finding success in math.

“Unfortunately math has such a stereotype of ‘oh I can’t do this,” Pence said. “If I can break that down a little bit and help students realize ‘hey you can do this! You can be this successful!’ and learn to enjoy math that would make me happy.”

Senior Calculus AB student Allie Libeer is refreshed by Pence’s personality and way she runs the class.

“[Pence] will just joke around with you and try to get on your level,” Libeer said. “She has a genuine concern for us and compassion that not all teachers have. [she is] a goofball, witty, sarcastic a little bit, energetic for sure, understanding and sympathetic.”

As StuCo co-adviser, one of the things Pence appreciates is the opportunity to work with students she might not have in class. StuCo gives her the chance to interact with students outside of class and in a different way all while giving back to the community. This is something Pence loves and strives for.

Libeer, who has also gotten to know Pence through StuCo, has learned about leadership and how to do the right thing from Pence.

“I like that she gives it to you straight [in StuCo],” Libeer said. “ [Pence] will let you know if she doesn’t like what you are doing which is also refreshing. She is just a super genuine human being.”

East is Pence’s home and has helped it make it home for students as well. For Pence, the best part of the job is getting to interact and be apart of students lives which in turn keeps her young at heart.

“The day I become the perfect teacher is the day I quit,” Pence said. “Because where’s the fun in that?”

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Maya Stratman

Maya Stratman is a junior as Shawnee Mission East and a staff writer on the Harbinger. After watching her older sister grow to find a notable place in the publication, it’s now Maya’s turn to try and do the same. If Maya isn’t at a deadline or interviewing a peer she is probably dancing, singing, watching “Friends” or writing poetry. This year she is looking forward to trying things on staff that she may have been too timid to undertake. Read Full »

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