Friday, January 17, 2020
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State Teachers of the Year: Jensen, Carroll

Both Illinois and Maryland announced their state Teachers of the Year Saturday: Maryland’s is Joshua Carroll, a STEM teacher at South River High School in Edgewater (Anne Arundel County Public Schools); Illinois’s is Lindsey Jensen, an English teacher at Dwight Township High School (Dwight Public Schools District 230).

Carroll, Jensen (photos courtesy of their state education departments)

Ms Jensen teaches 11th and 12th graders at Dwight, including courses in Advanced Placement English, Shakespeare, American literature, drama, and composition.

“Lindsey Jensen exemplifies teacher leadership,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. “Leadership to me means taking responsibility for things you care about. Lindsey Jensen does just that. Students leave her classroom with an expanded understanding of their own potential. We are privileged to have this extraordinary educator represent the state as our 2018 Illinois Teacher of the Year.”

Colleagues and students described Ms Jensen as infusing the best of research-based instructional practices with high expectations and infectious positivity. Her many contributions to her school community include helping to redesign the English curriculum and organizing students and faculty in philanthropic events to raise thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics. She also supervises student teachers, coaches her colleagues, volunteers as an adviser for students’ extracurricular clubs and activities, and serves her professional association.

“I believe education equals empowerment,” she said in a press release. “Teachers are in the business of human beings, and teaching requires becoming part of students’ lives and making connections that no other professional experiences.”

Mr Carroll has taught in Anne Arundel County for 18 years and has spent his career teaching at the high school level. In addition to teaching, he serves as a member of the Principal’s Leadership Team and as chairperson for the Student Recognition Committee at South River. He’s the head cross country coach and assistant coach for track and field and serves on the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association committees for cross country, indoor track, and student leadership committees.

“Education should be student-centered and engaging,” he said in a press release. “Lessons, activities, and assessments should be structured to allow students to showcase their abilities while gaining valuable skills and content that are meaningful and relevant.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Lt Governor Boyd Rutherford congratulated Maryland’s new Teacher of the Year.

“Our top priority is ensuring that every Maryland child has access to a world-class education, and our teachers play an integral role in ensuring our students succeed,” Mr Hogan said. “I offer my sincerest congratulations to Joshua on this prestigious honor, as well as the other finalists whose hard work and dedication have a positive and lasting impact on our young people by helping to shape them into future leaders.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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