Wed, June 26

Clarkdale-Jerome nominates Jen Shilling for county’s teacher of the year award

Jen Shilling

Jen Shilling

CLARKDALE – Students do not care how much the teacher knows, until they know how much the teacher cares.

That’s what Clarkdale-Jerome Principal Steve Doerksen said recently.

Specifically, Doerksen said that about second grade teacher Jen Shilling, who he nominated for the 2019 Yavapai County Teacher of the Year.

In the K-2 Classroom Teacher category, Doerksen stated in his letter nomination that Shilling’s “relational expertise” is her skill that “shines most notably and provides the most welfare and prosperity for her second grade students.”

“Ms. Shilling has assembled an individual and unique bond with each and every one of her students,” Doerksen said.

In the letter, Doerksen shared an example of a “previous student” who returned this year to Clarkdale-Jerome:

“This young child, having a rough and tepid past, arrived to school having re-enrolled in the subsequent grade level. Entering the classroom of his previous teacher, he ran up to Ms. Shilling for a meaningful and heartfelt hug. Ms. Shilling, having dropped what she was doing at the time, authentically welcomed this young child. This brand of heart-felt interaction is the norm for Ms. Shilling. It is this tie that binds, this pedagogical glue that provides for the corporate enthusiasm, the classroom spark that yields the added sheen of academic success.”

Shilling said that not only does she teach the standards, but she also teaches life skills “so that when a child leaves my classroom, they know that they are loved and how to show love and kindness to others.”

“I feel every child is placed in my classroom for a reason, and it is my job to find out why,” Shilling said. “I get to know the student personally and educationally, so I know how that child learns.”

The annual ceremony and banquet for this year’s Yavapai County Teacher of the Year awards will be held on Friday, May 3 at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center, located at 1500 AZ-69.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42