Maren Hassenger is a Middle School and Upper School French teacher who also serves as an eighth grade adviser and the Upper School dance team coach. She takes great joy in introducing her students to world languages, culture, and history. “I love opening the world to my students,” she says. “For example, did you know that French is one of the only languages in the world that is spoken on five continents? Did you know that one of the most popular French foods (couscous) is actually from North Africa and was brought to France by French colonists returning home to visit their families?”
That sense of curiosity and adventure extends outside the classroom, too, as Hassenger spent July 2013 traveling throughout France. Her trips abroad often influence her teaching style. “I love to have fun in my class, and the students’ academic drive and focus allows me to play and sing and dance with them while still learning French vocabulary, grammar, and culture,” she says.
Hassenger also leads the knitting club and teaches a dance and walking class. She enjoys knitting, dancing, yoga, biking, reading, baking, and cooking. Her trademark flower hair accessory even once had its own Twitter handle. That sense of whimsy and creativity contributes to a fun and lively learning environment. “I love how happy everyone is to be here,” she says. “The energy at this school is so positive. I smile thinking about going to work every day, and I know I will be greeted with smiles and hugs from students and staff alike.”