Wednesday, June 17, 2020

By Elianna Novitch

Happy “Where Do You Work?” Wednesday Hawkeyes! This week meet alumna Genevieve Harnack (BA ’09 Communication Studies and Mass Communication, ’14 certificate in Elementary Education with an endorsement in science, MA' 19 in Educational Policy & Leadership Studies).

Harnack, originally from Ollie, Iowa, graduated from the University of Iowa in 2009 with a degree in Communication Studies and Mass Communication. After working in the community for several years, Harnack decided she needed something more fulfilling to call her career and decided to return to school.

After graduating from the UI College of Education in May 2014 with a certificate in Elementary Education and an endorsement in science education, Harnack spent her first year of teaching as a paraeducator in a modified classroom at Norman Borlaug Elementary School in Iowa City, Iowa.

Harnack currently works at Hills Elementary School in the Iowa City Community School District as a sixth-grade teacher, a professional learning community leader, is on an instructional leadership team, and is co-sponsor of the fifth and sixth-grade student council. Harnack just completed her sixth year of teaching and fifth year at Hills Elementary School.

“Looking back, I am so thankful I made the choice to change paths and become an educator,” Harnack says. “I love that no day is exactly the same and I get to teach students what it means to become a critically-thinking, actively-engaged citizen of the world. Though it can feel small, I know I'm making an impact in the future of generations to come.”

Harnack says that so much of her job as a teacher is perspective and mindset and that she is lucky to have supportive teammates and administrators who share in that positive vision of education.

“The UI College of Education set me up well in that regard, challenging me as a future teacher so that I can more meaningfully challenge my future students,” Harnack says. “I'd like to give a shout-out to professors Brian Hand and Ted Neal for helping to expand my thinking, not just as a scientist, but as an active inhabitant of our world.”

Harnack earned her Master of Arts in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies from the UI College of Education in May 2019. 

She currently resides in Iowa City with her husband, who is also a teacher, their cats Hansel and Gretel, and is expecting a baby boy due in late June.

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