To Valparaiso resident Christian Hanna, friends, family and faith are proven to be what this life is all about. She wakes up every day with a positive attitude, and is eager to help others with whatever it may be. With her friends, family and God right by her side, she can do anything she puts her mind to.
Hanna was born in New Castle, Indiana, and started her college education at Anderson University where she studied nursing. At Anderson, she met her husband, Billy. Shortly after marriage, the two moved to Washington, D.C. where she finished her degree at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.
“Meeting my husband, falling in love with him and raising a family have been pretty impactful. We moved to D.C., and got thrown into that melting pot of the world, something that helped me break out of my comfort zone, something I’m not sure I would have ever done if I stayed in the small town I grew up in. To this day, the things I was exposed to in D.C. have stayed with me,” Hanna said.
After moving around the country due to her husband’s military service, the couple ended up in Valparaiso, Indiana to raise their children.
“God opened some doors and led us back Valparaiso, which is my husband’s hometown. It’s a wonderful community to raise a family and we knew we wanted our kids to grow up in a place so dear to my husband,” Hanna stated.
When her and her family moved to Valparaiso, she began searching for a place where her children could invest in a good education. They came across Morgan Township Schools, where her husband had planted his roots years ago. Coincidentally, the school was also in need of a nurse, and Hanna was hired almost immediately after completing an interview.
Currently, she is one of the three nurses in the East Porter County School Corporation. Hanna oversees the health of approximately 600 students and is resourceful; always working hard to make sure the students and staff are kept healthy.
“I am just one piece of this puzzle in this education process. School nursing is a little different because you’re in the students’ culture. When you’re a school nurse, you are not in control of the situation, and you are adjunct. You are a supporter of their needs. I’m the only medical professional here and you don’t have everything at your disposal like you would as if you were in a hospital. My goal is to educate the students about their health, so they can be in school as much as possible and get a good education,” Hanna said.
Health is one major component in her life that has always stuck with her since she was young. When Hanna was 15 years old, she was hospitalized. The midnight nurse that took care of her changed her life. Not only did the nurse help Hanna to recover, but she also led Hanna to her career path, the one which she is living out today.
“Health is mind, body and soul. It is something that you control, even though you may be stricken. You are always trying to do better. Your health and wellness is so important because it sets the tone for most things in your life,” Hanna said. “Your health and wellness affects many aspects of your life, and the healthier you are, the more you can give to others.”
She is grateful to share one of her biggest values with her students and fellow staff members. Hanna is a member of Morgan Township’s Wellness Committee, a team of committed members that receives a grant every year to encourage staff members to live a healthy lifestyle. Last year, Hanna helped out with a running program called Couch to 5K.
“I am a big advocate of running, so I met with the staff three days a week to organize events that would help benefit the health and wellness of our staff. This year, we are doing Weight Watchers at work, and we are seeing pretty amazing results. It is so great being a part of something that you know will continue on,” Hanna said.
Hanna is also very active in her church and serves as the fourth and fifth grade CCD teacher. At her church, she is also a part of the Covenant Group, in which she shares her life through prayers with other women.
Beyond her love for working with children lie additional hobbies such as working out, reading, listening to iDisciple, scrapbooking and meeting friends for coffee.
Behind her, stands her husband, in support of all of her decisions. Married for nearly twenty years, they have three children: fourteen-year-old Madison, ten-year-old Liam and eight-year-old Ireland.
“My husband is my biggest cheerleader and my biggest inspiration. He has furthered his education with each child, earning three college degrees and has been a wonderful husband and father through the whole process,” Hanna proudly stated. “He is a hard worker and inspires me every day. He has taught me that every day I have a choice to make about how I want to feel.”
Most of the time, she chooses happiness – an emotion that illuminates, shining on her coworkers, friends and family, making them feel similarly.