Winning educators at Jackson chamber banquet cite team effort

Friday, April 9, 2010
Jackson educator winners are, back row from left, Nancy Thompson, Christy Shinn and Shannon Heisserer and, front row from left, Alisha Turley and Tammy Ernstmeyer. (BRIAN BLACKWELL)

Five Jackson educators got a moment in the limelight, and all used it to thank the support group behind them.

Five teachers, Nancy Thompson, Alisha Turley, Christy Shinn, Shannon Heisserer and Tammy Ernstmeyer were honored Thursday at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year banquet.

Each was nominated and interviewed by a panel to receive the award, which was given in elementary, middle school, high school, specialty and private school categories. They received a gift basket, crystal apple and, from the Jackson R-2 School District Foundation, $100.

Each teacher spoke about her experiences in a video of interviews produced for the dinner.

Thompson has been a kindergarten teacher for 16 years. She taught for 12 in the district and currently works at Orchard Drive Elementary.

Upon receiving the award, she reflected on the team effort it takes to educate, an idea repeated by all the recipients.

"It isn't just me," she said. "It takes all of us."

Turley is in her ninth year at Jackson Middle School. In the video, she said her mother, also a teacher, inspired her to take on the job. She realized teaching was a noble profession when students came back to visit, something she encourages with her students.

"I want them walking away knowing I care about them," Turley said.

Shinn, a high school choir teacher, has taught throughout the district for 12 years. She directs several choirs and said there is never a dull moment. She said she enjoys having a job that is her hobby and passion.

"I'm inspired by everyone I've come in contact with," Shinn said.

Heisserer has been teaching for the Jackson School District for 13 years and works throughout the district elementary schools as an instructional facilitator.

Starting out, she said, she faced her fear when she was placed as a first-grade teacher, where reading instruction was concentrated. However, the more she studied reading education, the more she enjoyed it.

"That was a real turning point," she said.

Ernstmeyer is in her 15th year as a teacher. She taught fifth and sixth grades at St. Paul Lutheran School for six years.

She said it is important for teachers to learn fun new techniques and help students gain their sense of identity.

"I want them to know who they are and what they stand for," Ernstmeyer said.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

614 E. Adams St., Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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