Exit Interview: Ms. Hannah Doan

Spanish and voice teacher Ms. Hannah Doan is leaving Northwood to pursue graduate studies. Staff writer Jessica Jang ‘20 sat down with Doan for this exit interview.

 

How long have you been at Northwood?

I started working here in 2015, so this is my third year. I was also a student from 2005-2008.

Why have you decided to leave your Northwood job?

I am leaving to go to grad school at UVM [The University of Vermont] over in Burlington to study school counseling.

What different jobs have you had at Northwood? What classes have you taught?

I’ve been the freestyle ski coach, girls’ soccer coach, and girls’ dorm head. I’ve taught Spanish I and II, and Vocal Performance. I’m never bored.

What will you miss?

I’ll miss the people. Having been a student here for three years and a teacher for another three years, Northwood definitely feels like home to me. It’s sad to think about leaving, but I’m also excited to try something else. I’ll remember my students, the faculty members, and everyone at Northwood who has been in my life for a long time.

Do you plan to return to teaching after graduate school? What are your future plans?

I don’t know. It’s hard to say right now. I’m really excited about this counseling program, and I would definitely love to still work in a school setting. I’d like to work as a school counselor somewhere — probably in the Northeast. I also love the boarding school life, so I want to work in a boarding school again, but I don’t know yet how things will turn out. I have the next two years planned, but after that, who knows? It’s kind of exciting and strange at the same time.

Do you have a fondest or funniest Northwood memory that you could tell?

There are so many because I’ve spent a total of six years at Northwood. My first Mountain Day as a student here was pretty memorable, but I’m not sure if that’s my fondest memory. If I had to pick one, the Headmaster’s Holiday we had last year because of the big storm was my favorite. I’ll miss seeing all the kids playing outside in the snow and having fun.

Did you have a favorite year, class, or team?

It’s really hard to pick a favorite class or team. They’ve all been so different. But this year has probably been my favorite. I feel much more comfortable in the classroom than I did during my first year and, quite honestly, it’s a great group of students to work with. Also, this is my first year here as a ski coach that I haven’t been injured for part of the winter, so that was pretty great too.

What has your time here taught you?

Holy cow. So much. Not just in the practical business of being in a classroom, but a lot about myself as well. I’ve learned to be more patient, flexible, and to appreciate what everyone brings to the table. I think I’ve learned as much from my students as they have from me. Being a teacher has challenged me in more ways than I thought, but I think, ultimately, that’s also what has made my career here so fulfilling. There are so many great people here. If I could give any advice, it would be to take the time to get to know them — both the faculty and students.

Dear Ms. Doan,

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Morgan with Ms. Doan. (Photo: Su Hae Jang ’20)

Before I came to Northwood, you were my connection back to North Country School. You had also finished your years at North Country School and then started Northwood when you were my age. During my first year, I may not have interacted with you much outside of training and skiing, but I looked up to you because of how you worked with our small freestyle ski team.

My first year was also the start of working with you in the music program. It was the first time you helped us with harmonies and to use our voices to the best of our abilities. Even before I barely knew what harmonies really were, I didn’t like doing them. I had to get used to harmonies because the next year would be the beginning of a separate vocal program. Over the last two years, you have helped me find and develop my style of singing.

So thank you Ms. Doan, for helping me find my voice as a singer and come out of my shell. You really helped me develop in and out of the classroom. Thanks to the little tips about performing you gave us; I came out of me shell as a person too. Also, thank you for dealing with our many random riff offs and constant begging for off periods. Northwood will be lacking someone truly amazing next year.

As a final thank you, Mr. Portal and I have been practicing a song to do in your honor.

Sincerely,
Morgan Broderick ’19

 

mirror picMs. Doan and I were Northwood students together though I would probably just call us acquaintances at that point in our lives. When she came to Northwood as a coach/teacher, we almost immediately went from acquaintances to best friends. So close that on a weekly basis we would meet up for practice wearing almost identical outfits by accident. What I will miss most about Ms. Doan is her passion for skiing as well as her passion for getting more girls involved in sports, especially freestyle skiing. Despite her struggle with multiple injuries, it has never kept her off the mountain. I am really excited for her to have the opportunity to attend UVM and study in their school counseling program so she can one day help other student-athletes overcome hardships and injury the way she has. I truly feel as though she is pursuing her “calling” in life, and despite the fact that I cannot imagine what life at Northwood will be like without her, I’m so happy for her to start this next chapter!

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