Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts and Science educator Jill Jensen was selected a 2019 Regional Teacher of the Year by Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the national association for magnet and theme-based schools. The award recognizes exemplary magnet school teachers from MSA’s eight regions who have demonstrated a strong commitment to maximizing learning opportunities for all students through theme-based education, while also setting high expectations within their schools and communities. MSA’s Region Six includes Minnesota and 10 other neighboring states.
Jensen has been a science educator for 24 years and began her career with District 196 in 1996. She taught at Scott Highlands Middle School until 2000 and joined the Glacier Hills team in 2007 as the science specialist.
“I have a range of passions in education, including outdoor learning, design and engineering, and technology integration,” she said. “The common thread between these topics is a desire to have students feel connected to the larger world.”
This is the latest of several honors Jensen has received during her career recognizing her dedication to science education. She was a finalist for the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, she earned the Technology Information and Educational Services Exceptional Teacher Award and was named Elementary Science Teacher of the Year by the Minnesota Science Teachers Association. Jensen is also a member of the Minnesota Department of Education committee charged with rewriting state science standards.
“We appreciate this opportunity to acknowledge Jill’s work and dedication to academic excellence and community involvement,” said Alyssa Bartosh, magnet coordinator and assistant administrator at Glacier Hills Elementary. “Her active participation in professional associations, continued learning and passion for professional development around inquiry, science, design and engineering have resulted in her being seen as a leader in our district and state.”
Jenson received her award April 13 during a ceremony at MSA’s national conference in Baltimore, Md. District 196 magnet schools Cedar Park Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) School, Diamond Path School of International Studies and Glacier Hills were also named Schools of Excellence.
“I believe we are all capable of having a positive impact on the world,” Jensen said. “A main focus for me is to provide students an opportunity for them to see they can make the world a better place, no matter what age. While I am honored by this award, I think it speaks more to the positive impact of the whole Glacier Hills community. When parents, teachers and community come together with a unified vision and goals, anything is possible.”