Fourth-Grade Teacher at Findley CLC Honored

APS Selects Teacher of the Year
Posted on 05/18/2018
Image of Jennifer WicksAt its 27th annual Teacher of the Year Banquet, Akron Public Schools (APS) selected its top teacher from a field of eight finalists. Four represent elementary schools in APS, and four come from secondary schools.

The selection process begins during the winter as the district begins awarding school-building-level teachers of the year. That list is then reduced to the top eight in the entire district. On this night, hundreds of teachers gathered at Guy’s Party Center in Akron for dinner, recognition and the final announcement for Teacher of the Year.

This year, the district selected Jennifer Wicks, a fourth-grade teacher at Findley CLC.

Image of Jennifer Wicks

Jennifer teaches math, early learning, reading, social studies and health. She has been with Akron Public Schools since 2001 and, along with her work at Findley, has taught at David Hill, Forest Hill and the since-closed Goodrich Middle School where she taught seventh-grade science.

A graduate of the Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Jennifer Wicks earned her master’s degree in education at The University of Akron.

Wicks mentioned to the judges during the interview process that she feels the best way to improve the public perception of public education is, in her words, “The same way we change the lives of our students each day: by educating. I’ve made it my mission to be a part of the solution. Public education is worth fighting for, and I’m proud to be on the front line.”

The other finalists for APS Teacher of the Year were:

Elementary Division Teachers of the Year Finalists
(Jennifer Wicks - Findley CLC)
Leslie Naselsky - Seiberling CLC
Cynthia Rochford - Glover CLC
Nicole Villers - Resnik CLC

Secondary Division Teachers of the Year Finalists
Kara Gooden - Hyre CLC
Rebecca Hixon - Ellet High School
Rebecca Moga - Litchfield CLC
Daniel Spak - Firestone CLC

Wicks has said of her teaching experience, “My relationship with each student is the most important aspect of my ability to inspire and motivate as an educator. In addition to serving on school-based committees such as BLT and presenting on Instructional Improvement Days, I have treasured getting to know our families.”

She added, “My motto as an educator is, ‘all for learning and learning for all.’ Every single child is a learner, and we are charged with the awesome responsibility and distinct privilege of guiding them along a path that will help shape the rest of their lives! We have the opportunity to inspire, motivate and instill a sense of wonder in our students. I believe that teaching is the most important job in the world and also the most rewarding.”

“At Findley CLC, we have an incredibly diverse student body speaking a plethora of languages . I believe in them with my whole heart, and they know it,” Wicks concluded.

Click here to view the Teacher of the Year program.
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