Hannah Phillips

Elementary Special Ed Teacher

Began at Teachwell:


Why did you choose this field?

I started out in education in the position of paraeducator/education assistant and fell in love with supporting students with disabilities and behavior challenges in the classroom. Problem solving as a team to help students reach their highest potential is my passion.

What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

I often played school as a kiddo. My mom worked in education, so I always had fun playing with the extra materials she brought home. I loved to pretend I was a teacher. However, I also thought for sure I was going to go work with dolphins and whales as a marine biologist.

What or who most inspires you?

I am inspired daily by students who overcome adversity. They come to school with a mindset that allows them to build stamina for learning and stamina for overcoming challenges.

Why Teachwell?

This organization offers so much support for smaller districts in South Dakota. I love the sense of community fostered by offering services to students all around the Sioux Falls area. The culture within this organization is one that is welcoming and dedicated to student success.

What are you proudest of?

It took me almost ten years to decide what I wanted to get my bachelor's in. When I finally decided, it was only after I had my first child. I managed to complete my teaching degree online before he turned three. It was an uphill battle, but when I hold my diploma in my hands and come to work every day in the profession I chose, I know that it was worth it.

How do you hope to make a difference?

I hope to make a difference by providing a classroom environment where every student who walks through my door knows without a doubt that they are loved, and supported by an adult who is committed to helping them be successful. “Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” - Rita Pierson

What lessons has your work life taught you?

My work in education has taught me the importance of asking for help, the value in accepting feedback, and that having a team you can trust and depend on is absolutely invaluable.

What is your background? Experience, degrees, skills, etc.?

I started in education in 2015 as an education assistant in Lincoln, NE. I worked for the Sioux Falls Public Schools in a behavior program from 2016-2020. I also have experience in mental health support, and support for individuals suffering from addiction/substance abuse.

People would be surprised to know that I . . .

absolutely love tent camping, hiking, the mountains, and about any other outdoor activity.