1st Grade


Dear First Grade Families,


Imagine a day in first grade where you were greeted with ”We’re Walking on Sunshine” playing in the background while you prepared yourself to be ready to learn. Then the music STOPS and your day begins!

You look forward to coming to school because you know fun is built into all learning! You are taught using the SmartBoard, singing your spelling words and math skills to tunes like “Happy Birthday” and B-I-N-G-O, and using whiteboards for writing, math and word work! During the first six weeks of school our goal is to develop automaticity within the classroom on procedures and routines.The children will know what their jobs are and become responsible for their learning. With practice and modeling the first grader will become automatic on managing their homework and other products that demonstrate knowledge and mastery of the learning goals. Our objective is to maximize student learning in a setting where classroom management becomes invisible.

We will focus on establishing a productive work environment, which promotes student involvement and cooperation in all classroom activities. We will practice procedures until they become routine to promote a relaxed, pleasant classroom environment. Students will know what is expected of them to be successful.Through character-building activities the children will learn about their responsibility as a student. Their job is to come to school to learn. We do not bribe or reward children for good behavior. Our hope is that their achievements both socially and academically will be their reward. Parents and caregivers will be contacted to help with any challenges with discipline.We believe the parents are the child’s first and best teacher. We need and welcome your help in the classroom. We will be contacting you on an as needed basis to assist with and coordinate classroom projects, family celebrations, field trip drivers, service learning projects, material resources and errands.


Mrs. Faye Bahmanyar and Mrs. Rhonda Hanley


Rhonda Hanley

First Grade, Lower School Professional Development Coordinator
B.S. from Illinois State University
M.A. in Teaching from Aurora University
M.E.L. in Administration from Aurora University

Rhonda is a veteran teacher with experience educating students ranging from pre-kindergarten to masters-level students. She has worked as a first and second grade teacher, a media specialist, a technology trainer and a coordinator of professional development. Rhonda joined the Keith faculty in 2005. In 2008, she was a Golden Apple Finalist and in 2012 she was the recipient of Keith’s Distinguished Faculty Award. Outside the classroom she enjoys reading, gardening, her grandchildren and traveling with her family.

Email: rhonda.hanley@keithschool.net


Faye Bahmanyar

First Grade
B.S. from George Mason University in Laboratory Science
M.S. from George Mason University in Information Management
M.A.T. from Rockford College in Teaching
Certifications (K-9)

Faye’s son, Navid, graduated from Keith in 2011 as a National Merit Scholar and her son, Alex, attends Keith’s Middle School. Faye will again be co-teaching Grade 1 with Rhonda Hanley. In addition to bringing high expectations for academic and social learning, she hopes to create an engaged classroom for both students and parents. A graduate from George Mason University with a bachelor’s in Laboratory Science and a master’s in Information Management, Faye earned a second master’s degree in teaching from Rockford College. Prior to joining the Keith faculty, her classroom experience included teaching kindergarten through second grade students. She integrates her extensive business experiences into math and science instruction. Faye has worked as a senior systems analyst for commercial billing systems at MCI Telecommunications Corporation in Arlington, Virginia and the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. She has also been a systems consultant for different projects at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Email: faye.bahmanyar@keithschool.net