Teacher feature: Mrs. Hanks

Special Education life skills teacher Melissa Hanks never really knew what career she wanted to pursue until she signed up for a peer tutoring class with a friend. She discovered that she loved being around special needs students in high school. “This is when I knew that this was what I wanted to do in life,” she said.

While in college, Hanks continued to spend time with students who have special needs by volunteering at Manti High School. This was when she realized how much she loves being with the students and knew that she wanted to become a special education and life skills teacher.

After earning her degree, Hanks spent three months working at an elementary school. She then transferred to Herriman High and has been teaching students with special needs here for three years.

Hanks especially enjoys watching Netflix as well as being outdoors. Hiking, camping, and four-wheeling are some of her favorite outdoor activities. She also spends a lot of time with her son Ethan, who is just five months old.

One of Mrs. Hanks favorite things about her class are the funny things that happen sometimes, such as when students accidentally call her mom. She also loves taking her students around the school to pick up recycling.

“My kids are just like you, they might be different but don’t treat them different, don’t be afraid to come and talk to them,” she implores students.