Hammer time nears its end at GWHS


Eli Torrez

Ms. Rachel Hammer is teaching to the final bell.

Eli Torrez, Staff Writer

The Queen is leaving her throne.

If Greeley West is a kingdom, there is no teacher better suited to wear the crown that Ms. Rachel Hammer, who will finish her last day in front of students tomorrow after 34 years of teaching English.  

All 34 years of Hammer’s career came at Greeley West.  Although this is her last year as a teacher and we are down to the final days, she says she still feels as excited to teach as she did her first day. Hammer has a lot of love for the school and it shows in her many years of teaching and her energy in the classroom. “The traditions I will miss the most will be making pancakes as a reward for my students after they present their poetry,: Hammer said. 

Teaching came naturally for Hammer, early in her career.   “I come from a family of educators. My mom was a teacher, and I also had several aunts who were teachers. But, my high school teachers were the ones who inspired me because they were amazing teachers and I wanted to be like them.”

Hammer has done her own inspiring in these many years.  Former students like Mr. Dave Falter, Mr. Ryan Pace, and Mr. Taylor Juarez all enjoyed their time learning about language arts with Hammer.  

“Ms. Hammer could be one of the most sweet, caring individuals I’ve worked with.  She was always so much fun and always kept me smiling when I was in her class,” Pace said.  

Hammer loves many things about teaching at West, but one thing she surely won’t miss is the coronavirus. “I won’t miss all the craziness of the pandemic and all the Covid protocols,” said Hammer.

Hammer said it’s flattering to be called “queen” by her peers, but that her reign has been more about the people who made up her kingdom than herself.  “I am going to miss the staff and students the most, which is the heart and soul of our school,” said Hammer.

Faculty members agree that they, too, will miss Hammer Time around the building.  “Ms. Hammer is a part of the heart of this building and has been for a long time, counselor Ms. Deli Sambur said. “While she isn’t loud like I am, her presence is noticed and it will be missed as well.” 

Sambur knew she made it as a Spartan when Hammer would bring her food she had prepared.  “You know you’re in if you’re on the receiving end of something she has baked,” Sambur said.

Social Studies teacher Ms. Lea Sanford has looked up to Hammer in her years at Greeley West for a variety of reasons – kindness, concern for others and community service just to name a few. But Sanford said one of Hammer’s biggest legacy is her dress.  “ Of the whole entire school – students included- the best dressed is Queen Hammer.  She is an icon for teachers everywhere,” Sanford said. 

Hammer has brought energy and enthusiasm to her students and the school for a long time.  Principal Mr. Jeff Cranson has appreciated his many years working with her and her ability to always have a growth mindset.  “At the beginning of the year she hated that computer,” Cranson said. “And by the end of the year she had asked to buy the computer from the school because she had learned so much.”