Teacher of the Year
Franklin Primary School
Peoria Public Schools
Jennifer knew she wanted to be a teacher at a young age. Inspired by her mother, who was an educator for over 40 years, Jennifer felt teaching was a way to make a difference. She graduated from Illinois Valley Central high school and pursued an Elementary Education degree at Eastern Illinois University. After graduation in 1999, she started her teaching career at Tyng Primary school in Peoria as a Kindergarten teacher.
Her involvement with Junior Achievement started shortly after joining Tyng. Jennifer joined the staff at Franklin Primary School as a first grade teacher after Tyng was closed in 2009 where she continued to participate in the Junior Achievement program. Jennifer has strived to provide stability and consistency in learning for the children in her classroom. She strongly believes in the benefits the children in her classroom receive through the Junior Achievement program by learning about the importance of focusing on their education to prepare them for the workforce later in life. Jennifer continued her education by achieving a Master’s in Teaching & Leadership from St. Xavier University in 2006 and has been a member of Universal Leadership Team (ULT) at Franklin Primary for the last 9 years. She continues to be involved in JA and is currently the primary contact for JA at her school, helping to establish matches between teachers and volunteers.
In addition to supporting the Junior Achievement program at her school, Jennifer serves on the Illinois Cancer Care advisory board and is actively involved in the planning of key fundraising events that are critical to supporting the organization’s mission of funding Research, Education, and Awareness of a disease which affects 1 in 3 people.