A fter more than two decades in the classroom, many teachers are planning for retirement.

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 master’s degree in the classics, but was steered toward the education department by a professor who knew she worked with high school students who couldn’t 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 wasn’t done. She earned her doctorate at Boston University, writing her dissertation on study skills at the secondary level.

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 master’s 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. Anselm’s in the humanities and education program. It was there that she got a call from a former student.

“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 can’t 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. That’s why this award is so important to me. It gives value to what I do and love. When the dean’s 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.

“Ann’s 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,” says another.

“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. “It’s very humbling. And if you do it the right way, teaching is the hardest job there is.”

—Erika L. Mantz, UNH News Bureau

 

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College of Liberal Arts, Ann L. Loranger

Ann L. Loranger with students Paula Lockard and Carolyn Guerette at University of New Hampshire at Manchester

Ann L. Loranger, associate professor of education, College of Liberal Arts, with students Paula Lockard and Carolyn Guerette, University of New Hampshire at Manchester, Manchester, N.H.

 

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