Parkland teacher

Diana Haneski, media specialist at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School {Courtesy LG Experience Happiness program}

By Jill Fox

Amid a challenging year, longtime Parkland teacher Diana Haneski is committed to bringing mindfulness to her students.

Haneski, a media specialist at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and advisor for their mind-body ambassadors’ program, was honored by LG for the pivotal role in supporting youth mental health.

LG Electronics and Inner Explorer partnered on a program focused on teaching sustainable happiness skills, including human connection, gratitude, purpose, positive outlook, and generosity.

Out of 44,000 schools, LG Electronics recognized 50 users of their daily mindfulness program and honored the teachers for their important role in bringing the social-emotional learning curriculum to their students.

LG surprised Haneski with a superhero cape and an LG Ultrawide monitor for the media center.

“It feels good seeing the cape on my chair,” said Haneski. “It’s inspiring.”

She explained how the program uses short daily mindfulness practices to set the kids up for success and how she starts each of her classes this way.

“It’s just five or 10 minutes, and the kids end up ready to learn, and they perform better,” she said.

Each practice is led by someone with a calming voice and has music, journaling, and a nice curriculum.

Haneski, who taught at Westglades Middle School for 11 years and opened Park Trails Elementary School’s library, has been at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School since 2015. Her husband, Ray, teaches technology and coaches soccer and volleyball at Westglades.

She embraced mindfulness personally for many years, and after the shooting on February 14, she began bringing the practices to students using Inner Explorer.

Haneski cares for MSD’s emotional support dog, River, and teaches students to be aware of their feelings and emotions and learn what to do about them.

parkland teacher
Diana Haneski and MSD’s emotional support dog, River

“If people have anxiety and stress, it’s hard to learn,” said Haneski. “It’s so important to get that out to our students and our teachers.”

As the Florida Representative for the program, it gives her another reason to spread the word.

“As a teacher of high school students, I know these kids are going to be doing great things, and I want them to be able to learn to handle their emotions,” she said.

According to a spokesperson from LG, it’s really about bringing national awareness to the topic and recognizing teachers for their role in their students’ lives.

“I was skeptical until I did it, and that’s what I tell the kids — just try it, and you’ll feel better.”

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Author Profile

Jill Fox
Jill Fox
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.

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