Amy Kram has been named Langdon Area School District (LASD) 2019 Teacher of the Year. The award in even more auspicious because colleagues select the nominees with the Teacher of the Year is chosen from those nominees by a committee consisting of LASD Superintendent, Daren Christianson; principals Stephanie Hochhalter and Todd Hetler; and the previous year's Teacher of the Year. The award is given at the annual staff appreciation supper and is co-sponsored by the Langdon Chamber of Commerce.
Kram is in her 22nd year of teaching. She taught Family and Consumer Science (FACS) in middle school and high school classes in Rolla for 13 years and has spent the last nine years at Langdon Area Middle/High School.
“I am honored to have been nominated and receive LAS Teacher of the Year. It is incredibly rewarding to be recognized by my peers and administration. I am fortunate to teach in Langdon Area Schools and teach with so many teachers who deserve this award as well,” Kram commented.
Kram grew up and graduated from Cavalier and then attended Lake Region State College and NDSU. She lives in Wales with her husband, Curt, a music instructor at Langdon Area Schools and sons Ethan and Tyler. Her family also farms with her brother-in-law.
The newest Teacher of the Year said that she had always enjoyed “Home Ec” classes in high school and considered it as a career path before she graduated.
“I wasn’t sure teaching was for me (I am a first-generation teacher),” Kram said.
She took a variety of classes in college and, once she transferred to NDSU, discovered that her interests were mainly in courses in the College of Human Development and Education.
“After reaching out to my high school teacher and the teacher educators at NDSU, I went ‘back’ to my first interest. My first teaching job was in Rolla, where I taught a variety of FACS classes for grades 8-12.”
Kram is passionate about her work. She currently teaches grades 7 through 12. The subjects she teaches are Family and Consumer Sciences, which is one of the exploratory classes that all 7th and 8th graders take for nine weeks each year. She also teaches a year-long, comprehensive FACS class for freshmen and sophomores in which they explore a majority of the areas within Family and Consumer Sciences. The remainder of her schedule is made up of elective FACS classes for sophomores through seniors such as Foods and Nutrition, Child Development, Sports Nutrition, Independent Living, and Housing.
“I really enjoy teaching Foods and Nutrition. Both are such an essential skill for students to learn, and I love to hear from current and former students who are so excited about new recipes they have tried for their family and friends. There is also such a strong connection between the basic cooking skills that I teach and family, which is the heart of FACS. Students will go home and make one of grandma’s recipes or a family favorite. They will sit down and eat with their families while sharing stories and strengthening connections.”
When asked what she likes most, Kram replied, "With five different classes to prepare for and teach, no day is the same! In one day, my classes could start out creating meal plans with a grocery budget to making models of Native American dwellings to cooking omelets in a food lab, to sewing projects, to career research projects. Many times, I get to the end of the day and am amazed at what my students accomplished!”
Her advice to others who want to teach, “Keep learning. There are so many options for professional development in your own teaching area, technology, classroom management, and more. I started working on my master’s degree when my children were young, which was stressful at times, but the knowledge I gained has benefited me and my students.”
Kram believes that her students are being prepared for the modern workforce through the strong Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at LASD. She also said that CTE courses are an integral part of preparing students to be college and career-ready by strengthening core academic skills, employment skills and technical, job-specific skills.