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Hansen holding flowers“Her caring heart dives deep into the community, and her acts of service spread wide,” wrote Melanie Arena, a Berlin Elementary PTO member, when nominating Ms. Deanna Hansen for the CAPCOM Federal Credit Union “Making a Difference Award.”

The CAPCOM “Making a Difference Award” recognizes teachers who are devoted to helping others and display outstanding service in their community and classrooms. The $1,000 award is given to three teachers in the Capital Region each year. The award winners receive the funds to support classroom initiatives, along with $100 to give to a charity of their choice.

Ms. Hansen is a special education teacher at BES in the Kindergarten classrooms. In addition to her work in the classroom, Ms. Hansen is always thinking of special ways to support the whole school community. Whether searching out additional funding to provide new tools to support her students with extra needs, or teaching about and running the school recycling program, she is always supporting the school and its community.

“She is patient, attentive, and just the right amount of silly to keep her little learners engaged and excited,” says the PTO’s Arena.

Ms. Hansen’s commitment has also reached homes in the BES community. She runs a food pantry through her “Helping Hands” program, also providing gifts during the holidays, delivering Thanksgiving meals, and collecting and delivering Hansen and studets household items for families in need.

Outside school, Ms. Hansen serves on the Taconic Valley Youth Basketball board and volunteers as a coach. She also provides tutoring to students after school and during summer vacation. You also may spot Ms. Hansen at ballfields and courts around the area, cheering on the students of BES.

Ms. Hansen also volunteers as co-chair of the St. Jude International Food Festival, which raises money to support the St. Jude the Apostle Church and School. She works with the youth of the church to help in fundraising.

Mrs. Arena said, “Ms. Hansen’s incredible spirit raises the morale of our school and wraps each of her students in an environment of love and support.”

The Berlin Central School District would like to thank the BES PTO and Melanie Arena for bringing to light all the devotion and service Ms. Hansen provides to the BCSD community through this nomination.

Congratulations Deanna Hansen, thank you for your dedication and service!