Darlene R. Hensley, Ph.D., a 25-year education veteran, is Akron Public Schools 2012 Teacher of the Year. She teaches ninth- and tenth-grade math at Akron Early College High School.
A dedicated learner, Hensley received her chemistry/mathematics degree in 1974 from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, a master's degree in polymer science from The University of Akron in 1992 and her doctorate in analytical chemistry from The University of Akron in 1994. Her previous honors include Teacher of the Year Ambassador Award and the Miniature Bridge Building Team's Good Sportsmanship Award.
Hensley feels that, once the environment is set in the heart, soul and mind, the fun of learning math begins. She engages her students in her classroom, "Happy MathLand," where "learning becomes as natural as breathing."
As an active faculty member, Ms. Hensley serves as the AECHS's Miniature Bridge Building Team coach, co-adviser for the senior class, PTA member and resident recycler. She also helped to establish the AECHS National Honor Society and serves on the book selection and district assessment-writing committees.
"Teaching is my passion, my mission and my life," said Hensley. "My students are and will be my legacy."
Darlene was one of eight nominees for Teacher of the Year. The other nominees were: Kristen Booth, Sam Salem CLC; Julie Buzzi, King Elementary School; Deborah Firtha, Hyre CLC; Susan Hall, NIHF-STEM; Nicole Hassan, Leggett CLC; Grace Tome, Ritzman CLC; and Lynn Waid, North High School.