Teachers & Staff

The 2016 recipients of the
Peter Hess Memorial Teacher Recognition Award

photo courtesy Thoele Photography



Amy Brandt

My name is Amy Brandt and I am beginning my 26th year of teaching math at Franklin Middle School. I am a graduate of East Grand Forks Senior High School. I graduated from Moorhead State University with a BS degree in Mathematics Education. I received my Masters Degree from University of North Dakota in middle school education. 

My husband, Paul, and I have been married for 13 years. I have a step-daughter, Emileigh, who is 22 and lives in Salem, OR. Paul and I spend our days teaching together at FMS.  We enjoy spending time cheering on and supporting Prowler activities. 

Teaching middle school math has been very rewarding. I enjoy the challenge of helping students overcome their fear of math. The use of 1:1 iPads with our students has allowed for creativity in teaching. I have a passion for using technology to help reinforce that math is actually useful and can even be fun!

I am honored to receive the Peter Hess Memorial Teacher Recognition Award. Thank you to the Hess family and the TRF Education Foundation. It has been an amazing 25 years of teaching in ISD 564. I look forward to many more rewarding experiences in the years to come.
































































Katie Hahn

My name is Katie Hahn, and I am beginning my 11th year of teaching; this will be my 8th year teaching in Thief River Falls.  I graduated from Falls Senior High School (International Falls) in 1999 and earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Bemidji State University.  Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I earned my Masters of Music degree in Trombone Performance with a minor in Conducting at Western Michigan University. 

I began my teaching career as the Assistant Director of Bands in Dowagiac, Michigan.  At the time, I was planning to teach for a few years to gain experience in the classroom before beginning a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree.  Once I started interacting with the students of Dowagiac, I fell in love with secondary education and decided that a life in academia was not for me.  My experience in Dowagiac taught me the value of being an engaged member of a small community, and taught me the importance of having an active band program.  My students, families, colleagues, and administration were amazing, and I owe so much of who I am as an educator to them.

My husband, John, and I were blessed with our daughter in 2008.  Once Sarah was born, we realized that, as much as we loved Michigan, it was time to move home.  I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with the students in Thief River Falls.  This is a great community, and I cannot imagine raising Sarah anywhere else.

In addition to my duties as band director, which includes working with jazz bands, marching band, color guard, pep band, and helping with our 6th grade band members at FMS with Kristin Buckley, I am also a co-stage manager for the auditorium at Lincoln, and coach figure skating through the Thief River Falls Figure Skating Club.   I enjoy performing in various community groups, including the Northland Community Band, Northern Jazz, and the American Legion 9th District Band.  I continue to learn by seeking out workshops and conferences, and am furthering my skills at the piano with Kristi LaSalle. 

It is such an honor to receive the Peter Hess award and to be listed among a group of teachers whom I respect and admire.  We have such a talented and dedicated staff in our school district, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work and continue grow with them.  Thank you to the Hess family and to the TRF Education Foundation for this honor.














































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