ILWACO - "It's a treat to teach math," Brandi Hageman says as she begins her first full year of teaching at Ilwaco Middle School (IMS).
She has four sections of Connected Math Projects (CMP) in the morning and two of Math Lab in the afternoon.
"The new curriculum seems to be working very well," Hageman says of the CMP teaching methods. "The main thing is the kids seem to be learning from the new math program."
Mrs. Hageman has wanted to be a teacher ever since she can remember. "When I was little I always played school and my younger sister, Jamie, had to be my student," she says with a smile. "I love science and majored in zoology in college, but I was a teaching assistant there as well."
Brandi grew up in Vicksburg, Mich., where she graduated from high school in 1996. She earned a bachelor's degree in zoology in 1999 as a Michigan State Spartan. Hageman and her husband Brian moved to Bellingham in 2000 where he was stationed as a park ranger. She worked as a para-educator in Anacortes.
"I was a science infusion assistant for two years. I worked as hard as a teacher, but was paid far less so I decided to get my certification," Hageman explains.
After earning her teaching certificate at Western Washington University, she took a job teaching science and algebra at Coupeville mid-way through last school year. When Brian was re-assigned to Fort Canby State Park, she successfully applied to teach in the Ocean Beach District.
The Hageman's have a 17-month-old daughter named Brooke.
"We live in one of the old houses at Fort Columbia. The view is magnificent, and the old house has all the perks and problems you might expect from a 100-year-old home."
Brandi's hobbies include hiking, camping, and scrapbooking. "I'm a Creative Memories consultant and will be putting on a scrapbooking workshop Nov. 20," Hageman relates. "If anyone is interested in attending, they can call me at 777-8158."
She is looking forward to attending the National Middle School Convention in Minneapolis next week.
"Todd Carper (principal) and Sharyn Hedbloom (counselor) have given me lots of support and the staff is wonderful to work with." Hageman will begin work as advisor for the Highly Capable program next month at IMS, as well.
"I hope to teach another 30 years," she says as one of her goals. IMS math students are happy Mrs. Hageman is beginning her career at the beach.