Faculty Spotlights: Ms. Ahouse & Mrs. Hansen
By Angelina Fardo '23
Hayley Ahouse is a facilitator for the Cultural and Social Awareness (CASA) Community Service group as well as the Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) board. She is also part of the team that is developing the new IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity Action Seminars) program for this year’s winter term. Along with that, she is the head softball coach and one of the School’s two Spanish teachers.
Marissa Hansen is one of the science teachers at Marvelwood, and she is also the other Spanish teacher.
Being some of the younger female teachers at Marvelwood, I thought it would be interesting to interview them about their experiences so far at the school.
Stay tuned for more interviews. The next interview will be featuring Mr. Kay, a new teacher at the school. Also in the next interview will be Ms. Everett, a new intern for the school, who is also the daughter of Mrs. Everett, Head of School, and Mr. Everett, math teacher.
- When did you decide to become a teacher and why did you choose to teach at a boarding school?
Ms. Ahouse: “When did I decide to become a teacher… probably right outside of college; it wasn’t initially what I wanted to do, but I knew that it was something I would do at some point in my life, but I got pregnant and it was just what made sense. [I chose a boarding school] because I went to boarding schools my whole life, and so it just was an environment that I was familiar with and so I knew I would be able to acclimate easily.”
Mrs. Hansen: “I probably decided one of my last years in college. I knew I liked working with kids and I knew I liked science and languages. And so I thought where can I combine all of that? And why did I choose to work at a boarding school: Mr. Hansen was working at a boarding school and I was like ‘You know what, let’s apply.’”
- What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of school?
Ms. Ahouse: “TikTok. I’m just kidding! Obviously spending time with my baby. I really like watercolor painting. I really like making videos of my family, like vlogs, but [students] just never will see them. And I do watch TikTok a lot, albeit.”
Mrs. Hansen: “I like working out, swimming although there’s not really a pool around here, hiking, reading, anything outdoorsy.”
- What is your favorite pastime?
Ms. Ahouse: I asked her if she would say TikTok is her favorite pastime, and she laughed and responded “Yeah, probably. Or Youtube! I’m obsessed with Youtube.”
Mrs. Hansen: “Anything involving water.”
- What is your favorite movie/tv genre and why?
Ms. Ahouse: “Probably romantic comedies.”
Mrs. Hansen: “I like action movies a lot. I don’t know, they’re just exciting and get you on your toes.”
- Why did you choose to teach [topic]?
Ms. Ahouse [Spanish and Psychology]: “That was what I had a major in and it was a subject that I was always really good at and so I felt comfortable teaching that. But I also have a major in Psychology, so that was why I chose Psych too.”
Mrs. Hansen [Spanish and Science]: “I originally was just going to actually get degrees in science, I just love the critical thinking aspect of solving a problem, just like a puzzle. And then with Spanish, I love that you can just communicate with more people, and I love that it’s a real-world application thing that students can see right away what they’re doing and what result they’re going to get out of it.”
- What are your favorite and least favorite things about working at a boarding school?
Ms. Ahouse: “My favorite [thing about working] at a boarding school is the small community, a tight-knit community, love that. Obviously, my probably least favorite part is some of the duties, like weekend duties; but I love dorm duty. I can say that honestly.”
Mrs. Hansen: “My favorite things… I like being able to just see all of the different aspects of students; I love being able to coach sports and help them with homework and stuff in the dorms. Least favorite thing about working at a boarding school: getting woken up in the middle of the night when kids lock themselves out of their room and decide to have sprinting parties down the hallway.”
- What sport/after school activity are you involved in and why?
Ms. Ahouse: “Well as of right now, I don’t coach any sport. My favorite sport is softball because I played in college and I coached it last year, but this year I’m heavily involved in [other things], because I’m the head facilitator for CASA and the DEI board, so that’s mainly what I do with my extra time.”
Mrs. Hansen: “I usually do weight room in the winter; and tennis in the spring, though I might be moving to canoeing this spring. [For] weight room, I was a collegiate athlete and I am knowledgeable about how to do forms correctly, and I just think it’s good for students to work on their health like that. Tennis, I worked at a tennis camp a couple of summers ago and I think it’s just a fun sport. And with canoeing, I actually am canoeing instructed and I’m lifeguard certified, so I think that’s why they might move me to canoeing this spring.”
- Is it difficult to have a social life outside of school since you are here so often?
Ms. Ahouse: “If we’re not talking about COVID times, I don’t think it’s very difficult for me because I was raised near here. Both my fiance and I’s families live in the same town, which is forty minutes away, and that’s where our friends are, so it’s not very difficult for us. But it’s more difficult having a kid and having a social life [at the same time].”
Mrs. Hansen: “Yes, and no. It helps that Mr. Hansen is already here, and I already have a spouse, so I don’t need to have a social life like that. And it helps to have Ms. Ahouse and some of the other younger faculty here so that we can still get together and have a little bit of that social life. But because I moved from Iowa, it’s not like I have friends in the area anyway, so it’s not a huge issue for me. And I like we have the break, [so] I can still go visit my family in Iowa. So for me, it’s actually a benefit.”