Starting the school year is always exciting and we couldn’t be more ready to share the experience with our NEW HORNETS! Be sure you reach out and share a warm HORNET HERO welcome.
Welcome to “the grove”…
Sara Allen (First Grade):
My name is Sara Allen, I have been married to my wonderful husband, Travis for almost eight years, and we have two daughters, Sophia and Kaylee. I have 2 sisters, a brother, and 7 nieces and nephews. Family is very important to me. In my spare time, you can find me reading, or spending time with my girls. I love the movie Wizard of Oz and have lots of memorabilia displayed around my house. I am excited to start at Hazel Grove. I have been in education for 19 years. I started my journey teaching in Nebraska as a Head Start/Excite teacher in a non-school setting. Since then, I have taught in 3 different states, Nebraska, Virginia, and West Virginia. I have taught many different grades and subjects, including computers, P.E., title 1, and special education.
Caleb Austin (Fifth Grade):
I’m a a transplant from Dodge City, Kansas, and look forward to all of the benefits and lessons teaching in a large school district entails. I attended Wichita State University to study Music Education and Music Performance. While working towards those degrees, I studied both vocal music and viola. However, as much as I loved (and still loves) music, education was ultimately what I decided to study; graduating with a BA in Elementary Education. Currently, I am pursuing a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership and Curricular Development from Emporia State University. I have previously taught fifth grade and gifted education at Sunnyside Elementary School in Dodge City. I strive for students to be met where they are at and feel safe, loved, and respected in their learning environment. I was named a finalist for the GLSEN KS Educator of the Year Award for advocacy work in creating a more LGBTQIA+ inclusive environment within Dodge City Public Schools. I enjoy knitting, reading, keeping up on all the latest TikTok trends, and taking walks with my two dogs Lola and Ivy.
Andrea Cady (Fifth Grade):
Hi, I’m Andrea Cady! I originally grew up in Osborne, KS which is a tiny farm town 4 hours west of Kansas City. I attended Fort Hays State University and worked in community mental health after graduating. During my time as a case manager, I realized that my passion was leading me to be in the classroom with students. I moved to Overland Park and began a new program through Emporia State in which I was able to earn a Master’s degree in Elementary Education! I have various experience working with children from coaching basketball to working as a paraprofessional. I am extra excited to have my own class of students that I cannot wait to meet this fall! When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my family or my newly adopted cat, Slim. You can also find me playing sand volleyball, working out, going out to brunch, or exploring the city. I feel very lucky to be able to begin my teaching career here at Hazel Grove Elementary!
Connor Hodes (Music):
I am a graduate of the University of Kansas, earning a Bachelors in Music Education. While there, I learned to play almost every instrument imaginable, directed a 30-minute musical, sang in several roles on the university stage, and was nominated as a Teacher of Promise. I student-taught at Hazel Grove and decided I just couldn’t leave! In my classroom, I aim to cultivate a spirit of understanding and empathy toward both students and other cultures, fostering respect and acceptance of everyone. My hope is that these attributes will ignite a passion for both music and education that students can carry with them as they continue to flourish as learners and individuals. Outside of the education realm, I love to travel, watch Survivor, and hang out with friends and family. I am very excited to begin my first year of teaching at this wonderful school.
Amie Lawless (First Grade):
I’m so excited to be joining the Hazel Grove family! I have experience serving students and families at both the elementary and middle school levels. I’m confident each step in my journey has led me to Hazel Grove! Education is my passion, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to live it each day. I believe that all means all, and I promise to roll up my sleeves each day I walk through those doors and give my students, families and colleagues all I have. I’m the mom to two young men, a stepmom to four children (including triplet teenage girls) and a grandma (Mimsy) to my grandson, Michael. My life is full and blessed! When I am away from school, I enjoy spending time outside, exploring new places and watching sports, especially football and baseball. I’m a fan of the KSU Wildcats, the KC Chiefs and the KC Royals.
Alison Rolof (Fourth Grade):
While new to Kansas, I am excited to continue serving a community of diverse learners here in KCKPS. I have taught third grade at a Title I school in Houston, Texas. I am passionate about building strong relationships with students and staff members, designing engaging and effective lessons, and doing my part to further the success of Hazel Grove. When not in the classroom, I love traveling, reading, playing board games, and spending time around any and all animals, including my cats. I also enjoy human company, so if you see me around, please introduce yourself and say hello! I can’t wait to meet everyone and begin working at Hazel Grove.