Hello Hornet Nation. My name is Luke Decker, and I am one of the High School Math teachers here at Hanover Jr/Sr High School. I have been married to my wife Nicole for 14 years, and we have 2 boys. Tyler is 12, and a 7th grader here at Hanover Jr/Sr High. Trevor is about to turn 5, and is in Pre- School at Prairie Heights Elementary. Nicole is also a Math teacher, and she teaches at Fountain Fort Carson High School.
I am entering my 16th year of teaching at Hanover High School. I have taught all the math classes in the high school since August of 2004. This will be the first year that a second high school math teacher will be joining me. I have taught General Math, Conceptual Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, and a Mathematics Lab in my years at Hanover. Each one provides its own set of challenges, and thus it own rewards. I have enjoyed teaching each one.
I have been asked many times throughout my years, “why Hanover?”, or “why so long at Hanover?” For me, the answer is simple. Hanover has provided me everything I have ever wanted in a teaching career. I grew up attending a small 1A high school in Colorado (Hi-Plains High School in Seibert, Colorado). I graduated in a class of 12, and played 6-man football. I had the exact same Math, Science, History, English, and music/art teacher every year in High School. I know first hand the benefits of a small school. I know the benefits of small class sizes. I know the importance of stability in the learning process from one year to another when it comes to having the same teacher each year. I learned how the relationships formed with these teachers was going to impact my learning not only in High School, but moving forward in my life.
However, I did not go to college right out of high school. I decided to take a year off, and make some money. I helped a local farmer with wheat harvest, worked for 4 months with a master carpenter remodeling a house, and ended that year carrying hod for a bricklayer. I made money, bought my first pickup, and really enjoyed each one of those jobs. However, I decided that it was time to go back to school. I ended up attending Colorado State University – Pueblo (University of Southern Colorado all the way up to my last semester), and graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Mathematics, with a minor in Secondary Education. I was awarded the Outstanding Math Education Student by the CSU-Pueblo math department when I graduated. Math was something that I enjoyed, and was always good at. I decided to go into teaching after working in the Math Learning Center as a tutor. I really enjoyed working with the other students. My dad and older sister were also teachers, so teaching was something I knew.
Prior to graduation, CSU-Pueblo hosted a job fair at the school. I interviewed with Pueblo District 60, Canon City, and Fountain Fort Carson. Right before leaving, one of my buddies mentioned a small school that was looking for a math teacher. They had just built a new school, and were starting a football program. I found the school, which ended up being Hanover, and set up an interview. I drove out to the school, interviewed, and was offered the position. The rest, as they say, is history. Hanover has been the only school I have taught at. The relationships I have formed with students is, by far, the most rewarding part of this job. I am thankful everyday that I get to teach here. As long as they will let me, and I feel that I am still having an impact on my students, I will remain at Hanover.
Not only have I taught at Hanover for the last 15 years, I have also coached football for 15 years. I started as an Assistant Coach/Defensive Coordinator for Eric Pierson. Coach Pierson started the program at Hanover, and I was able to come in and help. After the passing of Coach Pierson, I took over as head coach, and I have been the head coach every since. I was an assistant coach and head coach for the boys basketball team for 4 years, and I was given the opportunity to be the Athletic Director for 2 years along the way as well.
Hanover has given me so many opportunities, and I am thankful for all of them. I have spent the last 15 years, and will continue for the rest of my time at Hanover, trying to give back to this school and community what it has given me. I don’t know if that is possible, but I will continue trying everyday.
Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit about me. I love Hanover, and truly bleed Blue and Gold.