About Ms. Hamm
I was born in Lansing, Michigan and lived there through first grade. My family then moved just 15 miles South of Lansing to a small town called Mason where I spent the rest of my grade school career. My dad is math teacher so I really did not get much of a break school wise over the summer. My two sisters and I would spend every summer doing math problems and reading lots of books because my dad wanted us to keep our brains active! I also grew up playing lots of basketball, volleyball, and even flag football.
My favorite teacher was a science teacher that I had in High School who really took the time to get to know me, learn my interests, and build a positive relationship with me. He inspired me to pursue a science field in college because he made his activities engaging and relevant to all his students.
I met my husband in college and after we got married we moved from Michigan to Vermont, where he grew up. I had never lived more than 15 miles away from home so this was big change for me, but I love everything about Vermont! My favorite things about Vermont are the amazing views and all fun adventures you can have outside. My husband and I live in Jericho with our two children, Josiah who is 3 and ½ years old and Nora who is 2. I love spending time with them and watching them learn new things everyday. We spend lots of times outdoors, exploring nature, playing at parks, and eating maple creemees. Activities that I enjoy doing are running, reading, and journaling.
About Mr. Crum
For the first six years of my life I grew up in the medium sized town of Jacksonville, Illinois. I spent weekends and vacations with all of my relatives who all lived within a thirty mile radius of my house. My Mom’s parents were, it seemed to me, the ideal farmers of the breadbasket of America. My Grandpa worked very hard to scrape out a decent income from 250 acres of corn, soybeans, a herd of cows and other miscellaneous farm animals. There was always work to be done and I was eager to help on a tractor or with chores. My Grandma kept us all in check with dinner promptly at noon and supper at six. We all crammed into a dilapidated farm house with a pump at the sink and an outhouse out back, but there was never a shortage of fried chicken, homemade biscuits, gravy or mashed potatoes. All from the farm, of course. There is still something very special about sharing a delicious home grown meal with friends and loved ones.
From there in Rohrer, Illinois, population 12, we would drive a whopping six miles, through the bustling metropolis of Modesto, population 100 to my Great Grandmother’s farm. This is where my Great Uncle also eked out a similar living for himself from the same amount of hard earned farm land. The Crum side of the family would come from all around to gather at the other family farm for a very similar ritual. Was there a book that farm families read on how to run a house? Because this was another tight ship. Always barn cats to catch and try to tame, usually, a go cart or a dirt bike to ride and always exciting and enlightening stories to hear around the kitchen table. Boots stayed on the porch, anyone who had been in the barn best be washed before they sat at the table, and adults spoke and children listened. Farming was and is important business that, I learned at an early age, was not to be taken lightly. It is not hard for me to feel a surge of warmth, pride and love whenever I am able to take my own family back to visit these magical places that feel like home.
Although we would always trek across the country to vacation at the family farms, I grew up mostly in suburban America: Somerville, NJ, Richmond, VA, Rochester, NY and Philadelphia, PA. I will always feel at home in the midwest, but am also comfortable in big cities like London, New York and Montreal. I spent most of my twenties and a chunk of my thirties in the mountains out West where I really enjoyed skiing, running, mountain biking and even wakeboarding in the frigid waters. My wife and I had our first child in Colorado, and we both knew that the glam and glitz of a ski town in the wild west was not where we wanted to raise a family. We loaded up the pick up, a trailer and headed back East to be closer to her parents in Bridgewater, VT. I was searching for that quintessential Vermont town where we could put down roots, raise a family, and have a place that reminded me of hand cranked ice cream and “Please, pass the gravy.”.
HELLO, Bristol, Vermont.
A year later we were able to find a house in Bristol where we could call home. One week later baby number two came into our lives and two weeks after that I started a new job at Mt. Abe as an English teacher. I was overwhelmed and psyched, to say the least. With kid number three in first grade and our oldest rapidly approaching middle school, I am very happy to be a part of the exciting shift that is happening in the seventh grade. Electronic portfolios, negotiated curriculum, Common Core State Standards and Performanced Based Grades are just a few of the tools that I look forward to employing as we work together to make students feel like Mt Abe is their second home.
About Mr. Russell
One thing I really remember from when I was a kid is how hard it was to make new starts. I love being a Vermonter! And it is a good thing. I have lived my whole life in Vermont. In fact, I have lived in seven different towns and cities in our great state! By the time I went to High School I was entering my fifth different school. This meant that I almost always felt like I was catching up, and often felt "dumb". Luckily there were some good teachers that helped me realize that I am not dumb. It turned out that I just needed to learn the things I was missing. Although this took a lot of time and hard work, the kid who had a hard time in school is now a teacher!
As a teacher I know that we can all achieve just about anything we want. We just need to learn the things we are missing. I am most excited when students are working hard at gradually learning the skills and understanding that will help them succeed!
When I am not teaching, I love hanging out with my kids, Ella and Bode[n]. My favorite activities are playing basketball, soccer, golf. I also hope to get back to skiing in the near future. Also, I love going on adventures in nature, and coaching eighth grade boys' soccer and baseball at Mt. Abe.