Hywania Thompson, Madison Metropolitan School District

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Hywania Thompson, copywriter/freelance writer, Madison Metropolitan School District.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most rewarding part of my job is the ability to tell stories about the good things happening in Madison schools. Watching teachers interact with their students and seeing the students’ excitement with what they’re learning — and sharing that story with the community — is spectacular.

The most challenging part of my job is the not-so-good things that happen in schools and helping to get that information out to families.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

I admire teachers. Teachers have so many demands on them but they keep showing up early and leaving late. They keep providing extra supplies and creating awesome classroom environments for their students — many times at their own expense. They care for, educate, and inspire their students. Teachers are terrific!

What has been the high point of your career so far?

As a freelance writer, being published in BRAVA magazine is definitely a high point for me. The people I’ve met — and their stories — are truly inspirational. Additionally, I’ve learned so much. For example, before I had the opportunity to write about it, I didn't know about the International Forgiveness Institute here in Madison.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Don’t let people tell you what you can’t do and talk you out of your dreams. More importantly, don’t let fear hold you back.

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What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

There’s so much to do in the area — live music, theater, crafting, yoga, cycling, oh my! There are also plenty of opportunities to connect with others and volunteer in the community. And being able to get anywhere in 25 or 30 minutes is excellent.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I can say my ABCs backwards! I think that's pretty cool. Also, I’m learning American Sign Language. I have a long way to go to become fluent in ASL but I’m up for the challenge.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I absolutely love Antenna TV! The station runs older shows like Three’s Company, Gimme a Break, 227, and more. I also enjoy a good dance party. It’s a great way to release stress, have fun, and catch up on some sweet ’70s tunes!

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