Vandenhoek named Teacher of the Year

Jeanette Vandenhoek is the Hills-Beaver Creek 2013 Teacher of the Year.

This the second Teacher of the Year honor for junior high and high school science teacher Jeanette Vandenhoek.

Her peers nominated her in 2008.

Last school year marked her 17th year with the district, and she found that her new role as student council adviser gave her plenty to be excited about.

She said she also feels her new role played a major part in her getting the nomination.

“As the new student council adviser, I led our students and staff on many adventures this year – from our Parade of Halls at Christmas to our spirited pep-fests and our Senior Farewell,” she said.

“It was a welcome change and I think everyone enjoyed and appreciated it.”

In addition to heading up the student council, Vandenhoek is the Hills-Beaver Creek Education Association adviser, the Continuing Education Committee president and Knowledge Bowl coach.

Her dedication to education often extends outside the classroom and school year. 

For example, every few years she organizes an international trip for students. This year that trip took her and two students to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for a weeklong learning vacation.

She said she loves working with the staff and students at H-BC and feels they have built incredible relationships throughout the years.

“We have been through some very tough times these last couple of years, and because of that we have formed strong bonds between all of us, she said. “We are caring,

compassionate, and considerate.”

“If it weren’t for all of my co-workers and the awesome student body making my job so enjoyable, I would never be Teacher of the Year.”

Vandenhoek lives in Brandon with her husband, Rick, who works in aircraft maintenance at the Air National Guard in Sioux Falls.

She has a daughter in fourth grade and her son, Zach, is headed to South Dakota State University, Brookings, next fall where he plans to major in graphic design and animation.

She is filling her summer days taking extended education classes, teaching Vacation Bible School, driving her daughter to activities and preparing her son for college.

She is currently working toward her EDS from Saint Mary’s University. Her Bachelor of Arts was earned at Mount Marty College in Yankton. Later she received a master’s degree from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion.

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