Spotlight – Shirley Hartmann

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Shirley Hartmann recently retired from teaching for more than 30 years and shared with Legacy her thoughts on service learning and youth philanthropy education. She has been involved with A Legacy of Giving since 2008 and received the Jane Nethercut Award because of her outstanding service as a Legacy Lead Teacher.

What is your profession and how do you spend the majority of your time?
I retired from teaching in June 2016. I taught in AISD for the last 32 years as a special education teacher and National Board certified Social Studies teacher. My passion as a teacher, was and still is, to provide service learning opportunities to students. I spend a great deal of time traveling, taking care of my family and friends, and I want to spend more time volunteering in classrooms. I am also supporting and mentoring my daughter as she ventures into her own teaching career.

What quote do you live by?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

This quote hung in my classroom most of my career. It was a gift from a dear friend. I used it to spark a first day of school discussion every year.

What social concerns are at the forefront of your mind?
The youth of this world. Instilling into our youth that they have a voice and that they CAN and WILL change their world to protect human rights everywhere.

How are you involved with A Legacy of Giving and why?
I have been a lead teacher for Legacy since the program began nearly nine years ago. My students were involved in service learning and I jumped at the chance for my school to be one of Legacy’s first schools. I wanted to support their program from the beginning and they have supported my students’ efforts every year since then. Such a worthy program and so needed in our changing world. Students need to be involved in opportunities which focus on caring, sharing and hope. They must believe that they can promote change by helping others.

What are you currently reading?
I am reading essays and journals right now about the history of the Monterey Bay area and the naturalists protecting it.

Anything else you would like to share?
Teaching has been a joy to me. Inspiring youth to take an active role in their community and world has been my top priority. I hope to continue my work by supporting A Legacy of Giving and providing service learning opportunities to many more youth in the future. I believe it is the foundation of any true learning experience.

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