Drue Haarsager tackles everything in life with a passion. When he teaches a class, he puts his heart and his soul into finding ways to help each student do their best. His positive, can-do attitude has a domino effect on his students. He works hard to understand each student's needs, often thinking outside of the box and using unusual teaching tools to get his message across. In return, students value his opinion and want to do well in his classes.
Last Thursday, in a ceremony in front of his peers, Haarsager was named West Fargo Teacher of the Year for 2008-2009. His colleagues commended him for his love of teaching and his willingness to go above and beyond the basics to give the students the best he has to offer.
Haarsager came to West Fargo in 1986, teaching driver's education, health, geography, and history his first year. With 22 years in the District, he has taught at the high school level, then served as a counselor for five years, and went back to the classroom to teach social studies at Cheney Middle School.
Last November, a script Haarsager had written about Teddy Roosevelt for his class was produced as a school play by Cheney students. Haarsager has written several plays based on the lives of historic leaders to help students learn in a unique way. He is currently working on two more scripts centered on Teddy Roosevelt, and plans on writing a script on the life of Andrew Jackson for his students to act out in class.
During a recognition ceremony in his honor at Monday night's School Board meeting, Haarsager thanked the District for allowing him to pursue so many different things throughout his teaching career. He referred to the Roosevelt play as a tremendous teaching tool. "I had a ball doing it, and I think the kids did, too," Haarsager said.
One of the committee members who helped nominate Haarsager for Teacher of the Year, wrote on his evaluation, "Mr. Haarsager has won over co-workers and staff, student teachers, and students alike, with his hard work and outstanding personality."