Hammerstrom Seeks New Challenges

Dimond Social Studies teacher Mary Beth Hammerstrom has recently participated in the National Endowment for Humanities, an independent federal agency dedicated to supporting research, education and public programs in the humanities.

The event took place in the Netherlands.

Hammerstrom was nominated as one of the 16 teachers nationwide to partake in the event.

Prior to this, she was accepted in the game show Jeopardy, and had adopted two rescue dogs.

It seems that Hammerstrom always likes to set herself up for a new challenge.

Many of Hammerstrom’s co-workers consider her a diligent worker who is passionate about what she does at her job, and in her personal life.

Dimond history teacher Lem Wheeles’s initial reaction to Hammerstrom’s acceptance into the National Endowment for Humanities was that he was “astonished; I was very excited because I had written for her a letter of recommendation to get her appointed for the event, and it was great to find out that she was accepted.”

Wheeles has known Hammerstrom for 11 years.

Wheeles is not the only one who is proud of Hammerstrom’s achievement.

Dimond math teacher Carrie Melville, a friend of Hammerstrom, said that Hammerstrom being accepted into the National Endowment for Humanities was no surprise, and is “totally up her alley.”

While in Europe, Hammerstrom used the opportunity to travel to Istanbul, Turkey, a city she has dreamt of traveling to for years.

Hammerstrom said, “I have been wanting to travel to Istanbul for 30 years. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to go out there and see the city of my dreams.”

In 2013, Hammerstrom participated in Jeopardy.

“Being on Jeopardy was not too nerve-wracking. Overall, it was a great experience, and I absolutely loved the momentum,” Hammerstrom said.

Math teacher Jim Anderson, a co-worker of Hammerstrom, said,“Mary is the smartest person I know. I am actually jealous that she has that much trivia in her head. So was I surprised that she made it on Jeporady? Absolutely not.”

Hammerstrom now enjoys life with her two adopted husky dogs, Boo and Shadow.

“At first, I would come to work crying because I had no idea what to do with this one dog, and eventually I made the ultimate decision to keep it. The dog would cry day and night until we found out that it was missing its sister, who he knew well before he was separated from her. So I adopted his sister, and now both dogs are healthy and happy. I love them to death,” Hammerstrom explains.

This shows the compassionate side of Hammerstrom that many people recognize, including former students.

Dimond Senior Tiffany Jackson, a former student of Hammerstrom, said that Hammerstrom is “very knowledgeable, and has experienced so much in life. Never has she not been passionate about her job. Overall, I think she is a positive influence for both the staff and the students.”

Dimond Senior Yael Yisrael, currently enrolled in Hammerstrom’s Economics class, enjoys the course altogether, and likes Hammerstrom’s “unique, and stylistic approach when teaching students. She always presents to the class formative information that prepares everyone for the test.”

In all, it seems that many of Hammerstrom’s colleagues and students seem to agree that Hammerstrom is an outgoing, dedicated, hardworking individual who is passionate about what she does.

The only question we have now is, what will Hammerstrom do next?