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Dear Families,

 

          Welcome to Horizon Elementary School! My name is Dana Hunter and I will be your child’s teacher this year. I am excited to get to know you and your Kindergartener as we work together to support your child’s education. I pride myself on finding unique and fun ways for students to achieve at their highest level.

           I have had many different educational experiences which I believe helps to best serve the needs of our diverse student population. My educational background is rather unique and did not start out in education. I attended Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel Merchandising and Textiles. I spent the next seven years working in upper level management at Nordstrom. I then decided to make a career change to my ultimate passion, teaching. I quit my job, moved home and attended Eastern Washington University to receive my Master’s in teaching. In 2013, I completed Heritage University’s English Language Learner (ELL) endorsement program where I learned many instructional strategies for our English Language Learners (ELL).  This is my fifth year at Horizon Elementary as a Kindergarten teacher and I couldn’t imagine teaching anything else.

          The Kindergarten team works collaboratively to create lessons which align to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and include curriculum materials as well as self-created materials. I have implemented a workshop model with our English Language Arts and Mathematics instructional blocks. Each workshop model is designed to have short mini-lessons where students receive instruction within the whole group for 10-15 minutes. After the mini-lessons students do short breakouts to work on independent tasks or group tasks. During these times we hold small groups or individual conferences to discuss student’s learning goals and to give students individualized instruction in a specific skill area where they may need additional support.

          My instruction is manipulative heavy with lots of opportunities for student practice. I encourage partner work and peer mentoring to help students develop a deeper understanding of concepts and develop academic language.

I believe in building and molding responsible students who succeed every day. I have high expectations for behavior and believe if you hold students to high standards they will rise to the occasion. At Horizon Elementary we have a school wide code of conduct called the Honorable Hawk Code. There are five important expectations that all students must adhere to and they are:

  • Use kind words and actions
  • Keep our school safe and clean
  • Solve problems respectfully
  • Follow directions
  • Do my best

I also have a classroom management system that both rewards students who go above and beyond and provides consequences for students who do not demonstrate Honorable Hawk behavior. Students have multiple ways to show me and other adults at Horizon Elementary that they are Honorable Hawks. Students can receive Honorable Hawk slips from any adult for demonstrating any of these expectations.

Kindergarten is a time of new beginnings, of making friends, and of learning lots of new things each and every day. Our days and weeks will be filled with many wonderful experiences and opportunities for learning and growing. I am excited to help guide your child to be successful each and every day. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. You can reach me by email at dana.hunter@kent.k12.wa.us or by phone at (253) 373-2625.

 

Yours Truly,

Dana Hunter