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WF High School grads begin Teach for America this fall

Diane Hahn and Levi Bachmeier have several things is common.

Both are 2010 West Fargo High School graduates. They just finished college. Their next two years will be spent teaching low-income students in rural and urban schools.

They have joined Teach for America, a national non-profit organization working to expand educational opportunities for children facing poverty.

Hahn will begin her stint this fall teaching English as a Second Language at Jefferson Community School in Minneapolis.

“I’m very excited about working at Jefferson,” she said. “I want to be a part of helping students that want to inspire others.”

Bachmeier is headed to Crazy Horse High School on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

“There will be six different subjects that I will be teaching,” he said, including government, U.S. History and current events.

“The opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture is one of the things that excites me most,” he said.

Bachmeier’s career vision kept pulling him in several directions, he said.

One path veered toward a traditional teaching gig, possibly returning to teach in West Fargo.

Another headed toward policy making and public service. He did an internship in Washington, D.C. last summer and was student body president at West Fargo High School and Concordia College in Moorhead.

“Teach for America struck a really nice balance for me,” he said.

From a fundamental perspective, there is a need for educational policy changes in America, he said.

At the same time, working with students was also attractive, he said.

“For me, having that exposure to both seemed like a really nice compromise,” Bachmeier said. “It was a good first step for me.”

Hahn graduated from Carthage College at Kenosha, Wisc., in May, with a teaching degree focusing on political science and minor in math.

She also was involved in student government and advocating for students, she said.

Hahn said Teaching for America provided a way to enter the education field.

“To become a teacher was very important for me,” she said, as is working on reforms to improve education.

Hahn said she has been inspired by teachers at all levels.

“Just the passion that they had for their students: It’s that passion that I want to help convey to other students,” she said.

“I could see myself staying at Jefferson and wanting to fall in love with Minneapolis and the community,” she said.

Bachmeier is looking forward to the next two years, he said.

“I’m going out with the expectation to learn as much as I can, contribute as much as I can and continue to develop my skills and passions,” he said. “The experience will only make me a better teacher or public servant wherever I end up. My end goal is a career in North Dakota.”