Marilyn Hanson: Expert Mathematician in the Math Study Center

It’s quite likely you’ve had to make up a test or quiz for your mathematics course at one point or another. Or, perhaps you’ve needed assistance when stumped on a perplexing math equation not even Sir Isaac Newton could fully grasp. Whatever the circumstance may be, there has always been a concrete person to turn to: Marilyn Hanson in the math study center. For as long as many can remember, Hanson has been a prime asset to Ames High. Formerly teaching math since 1959, she eventually opted to retire in 2006. However, retirement wasn’t the end of the road for Hanson. Today, she can be found volunteering her time and vast knowledge in order to “help students while reducing the load for teachers.” Of course, Hanson’s role hasn’t always been confined to the pale walls encompassing the math study center. Teaching has been a love of Hanson’s ever since she was a high school student herself. Back in the day, Hanson recalls having a math teacher who would constantly experience severe migraines. As a result, one student in each class was appointed to teach when the teacher had to leave the room. “Although I had some aunts who were teachers, it was definitely my high school math teacher who provided me with the opportunity to gain my first teaching experience,” Hanson said. While a scenario similar to this is unheard-of today, it highlights the extent of change in school systems over the course of time. As the high school has been sculpted and molded throughout the years, Hanson has learned to “adapt to the new situations” as they take form. “There used to be six class periods in a day instead of eight. This especially upset the math teachers because they no longer had class time to help students get started with their homework,” Hanson said. “In turn, that’s why the math study center formed. It provides a place for students who need more explanation and practice.” Maybe you hunger for the former Ames High that Hanson first got a taste of in 1959. Or, you might approve of what the school has evolved into today. But amidst the transformations, at least Hanson’s helping hand has remained extended to students through it all.