Jeffers named Teacher of the Year finalist

Published 12:02 am Monday, June 29, 2015

natchez — Jennifer Jeffers said that as a teacher, she does not often look back on what she has accomplished, so this year the Louisiana Department of Education decided to do it for her.

The kindergarten through seventh-grade Spanish teacher at the Concordia Parish Academy of Math, Science and Technology was selected as a finalist for Louisiana’s 2016 Teacher of the Year.

“It’s really humbling,” Jeffers said. “I think that as a teacher you are so busy and so involved in what your students are doing, you don’t really take a lot of time to reflect on your success. I feel very honored.”

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Jeffers was nominated by her principal, Nancy Anders, in the fall, and to participate had to put together a portfolio of what she had done as a teacher as well as some essays.

Then, Jeffers had to film herself teaching a class and send that in to a board that selects the teacher of the year.

She had a surprise, observation visit from someone at the department.

Jeffers found out in early June that she had been selected as one of nine finalists.

In July, Jeffers will attend a gala in Baton Rouge where the winner will be announced.

“(To win) would be incredible,” Jeffers said. “I’m just so happy to have made it this far. I feel very grateful and to be successful would be incredible.”

Jeffers said winners get to meet the President of the United State as well as participate in speaking engagements and act as a spokesperson for the DOE.

Jeffers’ accomplishments as a teacher in Concordia Parish include founding the Spanish program and Conexiones, a joint effort between Ferriday and Vidalia High Schools to send a group of students to Costa Rica each summer.

Jeffers came to Concordia Parish through Teach For America, which places teachers in high-need areas, three years ago.

Jeffers recently accepted a new job in New Orleans, but the programs she founded will continue to influence the lives of Concordia Parish youth.

“Her management in the classroom is outstanding,” Anders said. “The kids really respect her, and I hate to lose her. She will be a significant asset to the parish that gains her.”