Student Stories

Marlana Benzie-Lourey Main

Finding a Solution: Marlana Benzie-Lourey, MA-Teaching '16

Schools in Pine County, a rural area north of the Twin Cities, have some of the highest poverty levels in the state. Students there face the struggles normally found in urban environments, including single parent households, health care challenges, and lack of transportation.

After writing about the region as a newspaper reporter, Marlana Benzie-Lourey MA-Teaching ’16 felt moved to become part of the solution.

Benzie-Lourey left her job at the newspaper to work as a substitute teacher, theater volunteer, and tutor at her children's school while pursuing her initial teaching license through Hamline’s Master of Arts in Teaching program.

“I chose Hamline because of its focus on students with special and diverse needs,” she said. “I think it’s crucial that we teach in a way that meets the needs of diverse learners.”

Hamline School of Education's program, with its emphasis on preparing teachers to work with urban and urban-like learners through culturally-responsive teaching, is preparing Benzie-Lourey to be a problem-solver in her community.

Benzie-Lourey said she’s also been impressed with Hamline’s focus on building classroom community.

“It’s so important to student success,” she said. “So many of the Hamline professors model community-building and good teaching methods through their entire class–from the minute you walk in, during class itself, and outside of class. This makes it easy to learn sound teaching practice simply by watching the professors.”

Benzie-Lourey said she’s amazed by how much she’s grown so far in the program and through opportunities Hamline provides for students who are learning to become teachers  to put into practice what she’s learning in an actual classroom through a variety of field experiences prior to student teaching.  

Find out more about Hamline’s initial licensure and Master of Arts in Teaching programs on Hamline School of Education’s website. You can also contact Hamline's Office of Graduate Admission to learn more about joining the Hamline community.