Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Eighth grade science teacher wins Lake County Teacher of the Year award

MIDDLETOWN – An eighth grade science teacher has been named Lake County's 2010-11 Teacher of the Year.

Jennifer Kelly, who teaches at Middletown Middle School, will represent Lake County in the upcoming California Teacher of the Year competition, according to Lake County Deputy Superintendent of Schools Chris Thomas.

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from University of the Pacific and UC Davis, and holds a teaching credential in life science, and a supplementary authorization in chemistry and multiple subjects.

This is her 11th year with Middletown Unified School District. During her years at Middletown Middle School she has taught science, public speaking, leadership, animal science and AVID.

Prior to coming to Lake County, Kelly was an instructor of chemistry at Carlmont High in Belmont and then a substitute teacher in Marin County. It was during her subsequent five-year stint as a seventh and eighth grade science teacher at White Hill Middle School where she realized the enthusiasm and energy of middle school aged students was her niche.

“Teaching is both a career and a passion,” Kelly said. “Students inspire me to inspire them.”

Dan Morgan, principal at Middletown Middle School, offered high praise for Kelly.

“In her 11 years at Middletown Middle School, Mrs. Kelly has impacted a generation of students,” Morgan said. “She relates to them as a caring instructor, and as a fixture in the community. She shares her passion for life and learning in ways that can’t be quantified and measured. Jennifer Kelly is an outstanding educator deserving of recognition for her contributions to the profession and her influence on the students she teaches.”

Each year the school districts in the county select one exemplary teacher as their district teacher of the year, Thomas reported. A blue ribbon committee of community leaders then interviews these candidates.

The criteria for selection of the county teacher of the year is based upon the state and national requirements, which include professional development activities, commitment to the improvement of the educational system, personal attributes, creativity and ability to communicate ideas effectively, and professional skills in delivering curriculum and instruction to students, according to Thomas.

This year’s committee members were Byron Bell, Arlene Carter, Madelene Lyon, and Barbara Molini. Thomas chaired the committee.

The outstanding district teachers of the year for 2010-11 are Brian Claiche, Konocti Unified School District; Lloyd Coatney, Upper Lake Union High School District; Shelly Lawson, Lakeport Unified School District; and Tavis Perkins, Kelseyville Unified School District; and Linda Sheffert, Upper Lake Union Elementary District.

Kelly, along with the district teachers of the year, will be honored for their exceptional achievement at a dinner this fall.

For more information on the upcoming award dinner, please contact Janice Bailey at the Lake County Office of Education, 707-262-4102.

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