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The Granite State Christian Schools Association honors Matt Hannan with the “Comenius Award”.

On November 10 at the annual GSCSA Awards Banquet, JRHS Headmaster Jeff Philbrick made the recognition, as follows:

Comenius was a Reformation era theologian, scholar and pedagogue. He was a Moravian, one of the oldest Protestant denominations. He lived and worked in Bohemia, in the legacy of Jan Hus, now Prague, Czech Republic. He was widely educated, and as a prominent name in the Reformation, in particular in Education, is a fitting namesake for this award.

On behalf of the JRHS Board of Directors, Faculty and Staff, it is my honor to present this award to a man in Comenius’ legacy, Mr. Matt Hannan. 

Matt is the Bible teacher at JRHS, a post he has had now for 8 years. Over his tenure with us, Matt has greatly deepened his personal faith, as well as his ability to communicate it and pass it on. 

In 2021, Matt earned his Masters of Divinity from Denver Seminary. He did this all the while teaching, ministering and working a series of part-time jobs. Pushing himself to further knowledge of God and the Scriptures was that important to him. 

Matt met the love of his life in 2019, and we all enjoyed a virtual wedding during the infamous Covid Spring of 20. I will never forget the boys in our school, dressed in their suits and ties, in their little zoom boxes. They wanted to be part of this wedding. 

At our small school, Matt is the entire Bible department, a role he faces with a reverent fear. The curriculum ranges from bible knowledge, application, world view studies and apologetics. 

Matt has earned a strong reputation on campus, a man above reproach. He works well with our younger students, but his (in my estimation), real sweet spot is with the older students he has worked with over time. Using knowledge and wisdom, mixed with wit and humor, Matt holds their attention during class. He is a voice and presence on campus that exudes respect. 

Recently, we have experimented with learning through questioning, something I imagine Comenius would have believed in. I have been everything from impressed to enlightened with our “Question Box” liturgy we do each Thursday. The students are invited to ask literally any question under the sun, and Matt responds with provocative, biblical thought and context. 

Working together in Christian Education now for nearly a decade, Matt is both an employee, but more, a colleague and partner in ministry. We have experienced co-laboring for the Kingdom in a way that would please both Jan Comenius, and the Lord Jesus. This summer, during a trial time in my own life, Matt lived out what he teaches, as he cared for me. 

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