Sixth-grade teacher receives honor
June 5, 2019
Teaching students about their civic responsibility, patriotism and flag etiquette has earned one Green River teacher a state award.
Lincoln Middle School sixth-grade teacher Lori Hastert was informed that she recently had been named the Veterans of Foreign Wars Smart/Maher Wyoming State Teacher of the Year.
“It was pretty exciting and quite a surprise,” Hastert said. “It’s pretty humbling to receive that as well.”
According to the VFW website, “Established in 1999, the award recognizes our nation’s top teachers for their exceptional commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students by promoting civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism in the classroom. The award is named after former VFW National Commander John Smart and retired VFW Quartermaster General Larry Maher.”
Hastert is well-known in Green River for helping collect care-package items for soldiers and having children send Christmas cards to those serving overseas. She’s also known for her role in keeping the Veterans’ Day program going.
This program honors veterans who have served this country. She also makes sure children post a banner with information about someone they know who served in the military. These banners are placed throughout Green River on Veterans Day.
Hastert does all of these things to ensure her students understand it’s important to do so, it’s not something she ever did for recognition.
“You don’t do it because you think it might (get you) an award, you do it because it’s right and important,” Hastert said.
When Hastert found out about her nomination, she provided the requested information such as two letters of reference and one nomination letter, which had already been submitted, and went on with her day. Hastert didn’t give it a second thought, until she was told she was receiving the award.
For Hastert, it’s not about recognition, but teaching kids what it means to show appreciation to those who fight for this country’s freedom.
“It was a surprise to be nominated, I wasn’t aware of that particular award,” she said.
Someone was aware of the award and made sure the local VFW Post No. 2321 knew about it.
Hastert said teaching students about their civic responsibility, patriotism and flag etiquette is important and that’s why she continues to do it.
Her father served in World War II and earned a purple heart and her stepchildren have also served in the military.
This is what inspires her to keep teaching about service to this country.
“I just think it’s a real important part of our curriculum. It’s an important part of our every-day life,” she said.