Rex Hanson looks back on LaRue career

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By Linda Ireland

One of LaRue County High School’s key faculty members has accepted a position outside the district.

Rex Hanson, senior class sponsor and Math Department chairman, will teach dual credit college algebra and algebra 2 at John Hardin High School this fall.

“I am leaving because I felt it was time for a change,” said Hanson. “There will be new experiences and opportunities in Hardin County to which I am looking forward. There are also some benefits of having my children attend school where they are districted.”

Hanson has two children: Liz, 8, and Ben, 5.

Hanson joined the LCHS staff in 1999. He has been senior class sponsor for nine of those 14 years. That entails organizing graduation, baccalaureate and the senior trip to New York City.

His co-sponsor for the last several years, Summer Garris, will take over those duties this year.

“Every class has had their own memorable moments,” he said. “Spending five days with each class on the senior trip has brought the most memories. One class, as a senior prank, wrapped everything in my classroom in wrapping paper. And it is always hard at graduation time sending the graduates off into the world, whether they go to college or they join the work force.”

His most memorable moment was being selected the ExCEL teacher of LaRue County in the 2006-07 school year. A close runner-up was attending the national rocket competition in Washington, DC, in 2012.

“This particular group of students were the most motivated students I’ve ever had in my career,” he said.

The team placed 45th out of 100 teams in the nation in its first appearance in the tournament.

“Another memorable moment was that the class of 2005 dedicated their yearbook to me.  That was truly an honor,” he said.

Hanson grew up in Owensboro, moving to Madisonville in his teens. He graduated from Madisonville North Hopkins High School in 1995. He earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in mathematics and chemistry from Western Kentucky University in 1999.

He’s seen several changes in his classroom since he started teaching, including the introduction of “Common Core Standards” in mathematics (for testing purposes). The ACT test became mandatory for juniors. The high school math requirement was raised from three credits to having the subject required every year.

“I’ve also seen the school schedule go from block, to a seven-period day, to a six-period day. There have been lots of changes, including the one-to-one laptop initiative which added lots of new opportunities for teaching.”

Hanson said he will miss his work with the seniors, the LCHS math department and “many other teachers and staff that I have become friends with over the years. I will miss the relationships I formed with the students by having them multiple times in high school. Some ‘lucky’ students would have me for three or four periods every day, as they would have me for calculus, physics, Academic Time, and be my teacher aide.”