Meet the teacher: Andrew Hackett, Dowagiac Middle School

Educators are perhaps the greatest population of unsung heroes in Berrien and Cass County. This school year, Leader Publications will publish a weekly spotlight featuring teachers throughout the district, giving the community a chance to get to know the hard-working individuals shaping their children’s lives. Throughout the next school year, their answers will be published in the newspaper that serves each school district.

Name: Andrew Hackett

School: Dowagiac Middle School

Grade(s)/subject(s) taught: eighth grade math

Andy Hackett

Where did you attend college? Western Michigan University (undergraduate and graduate)

How many years have you been teaching? How many years have you been with your current school? This is my 13th year of teaching overall, all with Dowagiac Union Schools. This is my 10th at Dowagiac Middle School.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? Originally, I began college in an accounting program, but changed to education after I found myself helping so many of my freshman classmates with our math classes. Slowly, I discovered I had the ability to help others understand the mathematical concepts when they were confused and couldn’t understand what the professor was saying. Thus, I decided to give teaching a try and have been very happy with that decision.

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? I enjoy camping with my family, playing golf and working around the house.

What is one thing your students may not know about you? Students often say they are intimidated by my size, but in reality, I feel like I’m a pretty easy going and relaxed person most of the time.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Luke Skywalker because he spent his whole “life” trying to defeat evil in the galaxy and never gave up hope that there is good in people. Having a Jedi powers and a lightsaber would be pretty cool, too.

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your favorite hobbies? When I was an eighth grader, I enjoyed hanging out with friends at the roller rink, playing football, basketball and hockey.

How would your co-workers describe your teaching style and personality? Focused and on task with a touch of humor.

Who is your biggest role model and why? None that I can think of.

How has education changed in the last 10 years? In the last 10 years, I feel as though our society has become so reliant on technology that we immediately want to Google something when we don’t know the answer. While I find myself going to Google for answers at times, I feel as though students are going to Google for answers instead of trying to think for themselves or reason their way through the situation/problem first.

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue growing academically? Communicate. My best advice is to never stop talking to your child. Children today have so many different challenges in their lives socially and academically and sometimes they just need someone to listen to their successes/struggles and to give them understanding and support when needed.

If my students learn one thing this year, I hope it is … to become a better person, whether it be academically or personally. I want all my students to say at the end of the year they are better because of one thing they accomplished this year.

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Union High School closes for three days due to COVID-19

Cassopolis

Resolution to ask Cassopolis Board of Education member to resign fails

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary donates to Rotary Villa Apartments’ trunk or treat efforts

Cass County

Accessory to 2019 Cass County Courts bomb threat sentenced to prison

Buchanan

Local DAR chapter donates to second-grade classroom

Buchanan

Buchanan event inviting community to partake in traditional practice of peace, hope

Cass County

Cass County law enforcement agencies host Halloween with a Cop event

News

Niles City Clerk offers voting advice

Dowagiac

Dowagiac residents finding creative ways to have fun, safe Halloween

Dowagiac

Dowagiac restaurant manager fired following criminal sexual conduct arrest

Berrien County

MDHHS extends emergency orders

Cassopolis

Cassopolis opens new municipal complex

Edwardsburg

Duo Form donates face shields to Edwardsburg Fire Department

Edwardsburg

PHOTO STORY: Community celebrates Edwardsburg firefighter with parade

Berrien County

Berrien County health professionals warn residents to remain vigilant

News

South Bend Police Department seeking information regarding missing Niles man

Cass County

DASAS welcomes new executive director

Business

Cass County businesses struggle amid increase in COVID-19 cases

News

MDHHS adds testing requirements for homes for the aged, large adult foster care facilities

Berrien County

Two injured at Old U.S. 31 and Ullery

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports additional COVID-19 death

Dowagiac

Dowagiac restaurateur arrested on criminal sexual conduct charges

Buchanan

Bike Buchanan pedals last ride of season

Buchanan

Caring Circle Services relocating to Niles