Hannes Thum graduated from Sun Valley Community School in 2003 and returned to the school in 2009 as a member of the Upper School science faculty. Before joining the Elementary School faculty in 2019, Hannes taught Introduction to Biology, Advanced Biology, Sensing Place (an interdisciplinary course he co-teaches with English faculty member Elliot Jacobs), Wildlife Ecology, This is Your Brain, Human Physiology, and Field Biology. He also serves as an OLA advisor.
He was known in the Upper School for his curiosity, love of science, his commitment to his students, and his approachable nature. These are traits that will continue to serve his students well. Janet Salvoni, Elementary School Head, says, “I am excited to work with Hannes as a member of our ES faculty. The entire hiring committee was deeply impressed during the search process, not only by Hannes’s vast science knowledge, but also by his commitment to always putting children first, learning from them, and helping them to develop a sense of self.” While it’s difficult to leave behind what he loves about teaching Upper Schoolers, Hannes says he is looking forward to exploring science and education through this new lens within the school.
Hannes holds a BA in environmental earth sciences from Dartmouth College and a MS in science education from Montana State University.
Prior to coming home to the Cutthroat campus to teach, Hannes taught for two years at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, where he was also a ski coach.
Hannes says his colleagues at Sun Valley Community School "inspire me every day," and he appreciates "the community, the support, and the relationships" here at school—as well as the incredible location. He has especially loved the opportunity to teach summer field courses, which allow him to take small classes into the field for a day or a week at a time, providing the group the opportunity to "learn, camp, hike, and collect data all side-by-side."
When he's not teaching, Hannes enjoys being outdoors and enjoying other activities that help him find balance in life.