fter more than two decades in the classroom, many teachers are planning
Ann Loranger is
no ordinary teacher. She had no plans to leave school; she was going back.
For years Loranger
taught high school Latin and English in New Hampshire while she and her
husband raised their three children. She came to UNH intending to get
her masters degree in the classics, but was steered toward the education
department by a professor who knew she worked with high school students
who couldnt read. Soon after, Latin was eliminated from the curriculum
where she taught and she started a secondary reading program. It was one
of the first in the state and quickly became a model for other schools.
But Loranger still wasnt done. She earned her doctorate
at Boston University, writing her dissertation on study skills at the
While on sabbatical from Sanborn Regional High School,
Loranger accepted a one-year faculty replacement position at UNH in the
Department of Education.
I was hooked, she says. I have such
a passion for teaching and at that point in my career I was wondering
how I could affect change. I realized then that it was by teaching the
students who are going to go out and become teachers. When I studied to
be a teacher at a liberal arts college, it meant taking two classes in
my field and spending six weeks student teaching. I wanted to help ensure
we get the best prepared people in our classrooms.
At UNH that means a five-year program that culminates
in a masters degree and includes a full-year internship.
But at the end of that year, there were no open positions
at UNH. So, Loranger taught elementary education at Notre Dame College
for one year, then spent three years at St. Anselms in the humanities
and education program. It was there that she got a call from a former
She had seen an ad for a job she was sure was made
for me, Loranger says.
And she was right.
The position as director of teacher education at the University
of New Hampshire at Manchester was so suited to her that she will return
to it this fall.
I cant even imagine teaching not being a part
of my life, she says. I love the students, the interchange,
the sharing of knowledge. I learn from my students. I never go in saying
I have all the answers. I say we are going to learn from each other. Thats
why this award is so important to me. It gives value to what I do and
love. When the deans call came on my birthday, it was the best present
I could ever receive.
Loranger is a role model for her students, as well as
their greatest advocate. She goes to their weddings and their baby showers.
She invites them into her home to share an Italian meal. She meets them
at The Tin Palace to talk about teaching.
Anns availability, understanding, and wisdom
are all attributes I hope to demonstrate in my own classroom, says
one former student.
She is a professor of education and life,
She is the reason I am a teacher today.
It is statements like these that she says keep her going.
I think everyone who goes into education has had
a teacher that influenced the decision, she says. For me,
it was my high school Latin teacher.
Teaching is such an awesome responsibility,
she adds. Its very humbling. And if you do it the right way,
teaching is the hardest job there is.
Erika L. Mantz, UNH News Bureau