Jerns named Teacher of the Year at Lord Baltimore


Jennifer Jerns said she enjoys teaching fourth grade, where she can interact with students on a higher level.

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Lord Baltimore Elementary School teacher Jennifer Jerns was recently honored as the school’s teacher of the year.Coastal Point • Laura Walter:
Lord Baltimore Elementary School teacher Jennifer Jerns was recently honored as the school’s teacher of the year.

“I love the age. They’re still interested in learning, and I can be more humorous with them,” she said.

Jerns was recently honored as Lord Baltimore Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year for 2011-2012.

After graduating from Salisbury University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Jerns took a nontraditional route, saying she began teaching “on accident.” Jerns actually answered a newspaper advertisement for a Maryland juvenile detention center that was seeking teachers.

The Indian River High School graduate later returned home to earn a master’s degree in special education from Wilmington University. She subsequently began working locally as a preschool classroom paraprofessional.

Jerns joined the Lord Baltimore staff to teach first grade, then taught fifth grade; and this is her third year teaching fourth grade.

Within the classroom, Jerns said, it can be challenging to “motivate the unmotivated … and get them excited about learning.”

Ultimately, Jerns said, “I really do like the kids. They’re fun.”

“What a wonderful classroom and environment,” said Principal Janet Hickman said of Jerns at Indian River School District’s Teacher of the Year ceremony in April.

Hers is an inclusion classroom, meaning a para-educator assists Jerns in teaching a standard class that also includes students with disabilities or diverse learning styles.

“Becoming a parent made me a better teacher,” Jerns said. “I’m such a big influence — whether I want to be or not — and I never realized it until I had kids.”

She said she loves spending time with her three young children.

Jerns is a Learning-Focused Strategies trainer, teaching new instruction techniques to other staff members. She is also the fourth-grade representative for the school’s liaison committee.

Jerns said she was very honored to be recognized from such a “phenomenal bunch of people” at Lord Baltimore Elementary, saying, “I love what I do, and I guess that showed.”