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Jenson named Worthington Teacher of the Year

Jeanette Jenson (right), a Worthington Middle School music teacher and Education Minnesota Worthington’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, poses with Prairie Elementary third grade teacher Suzy Brandner (left). Brandner presented Jenson with the award Monday night during a ceremony at the Worthington High School Media Center. Erin Trester/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — For the second time, Worthington Middle School music teacher Jeanette Jenson has been named the Education Minnesota Worthington 2014 Teacher of the Year. 

Jenson, who previously won the award in 2009, was honored Monday in a ceremony at Worthington High School. She was introduced by Suzy Brandner, a third-grade teacher at Prairie Elementary, who noted that Jenson has now entered her 21st year as a music teacher.

Jenson attended North Dakota State University in Fargo and Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall before heading to Worthington. She started her teaching career instructing band at West Elementary and later moved to Prairie Elementary when the school opened in 2001. She then transitioned to her current position, teaching music at Worthington Middle School.

In Jenson’s 18 years with District 518, she has served as music department chair and co-director of the comprehensive arts planning program. She has also been a participant in the quality teaching network and most recently assisted in the completion of the new teacher evaluation model.

“Our district is rich with fabulous music instructors, and Jeanette is definitely an asset to this program,” Brandner said.

Jenson gave a short speech thanking her colleagues and family for their support.

“Today I feel incredibly honored to accept this award on behalf of all the fine teachers I’ve known and get to work with,” Jenson began.

She continued by describing her love for music and teaching by saying that the slogan for Music in Our Schools Month is “Music Makes Me ...” — with students filling in the blank with how music affects them.

“Personally, music makes me love my career,” Jenson said. “It makes me want to — and actually get to — dance, sing and play instruments with my students.”

Jenson also thanked the community as a whole, stating that music is valued in the district and supported by the community.

“Music programs give students a safe, supervised place to be — a home, if you will,” Jenson said.

When speaking about winning the award for the second time, Jenson simply said, “I’m humbled.”

Other nominees were Kris Doeden, Prairie Elementary second-grade teacher; Rich Liapis, Prairie Elementary fourth-grade teacher; and Stacy Sauerbrei, English teacher at Worthington High School.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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