NEES teacher named Md. VFW teacher of the year
jiannetta@ cecilwhig. com
— North East Elementary School teacher Jennifer Edwards has been named the 2015-2016 State of Maryland Veterans of Foreign Wars Elementary School Teacher of the Year.
Each year, the VFW recognizes an elementary, a middle school and a high school teacher for their commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Local posts nominate teachers and these nominations are then considered at the district, state and national level.
“I always knew I wanted to work with kids,” Edwards said. “A teacher wears a lot of different hats. We’re a nurse when they get hurt. We’re a counselor when things aren’t going well. Sometimes we’re even their surrogate parents. I think it’s one of the hardest jobs, but also the most rewarding.”
Edwards, a first- grade teacher at the school, was nominated for the award by the Jerry Skrivanek VFW Post No. 8185 in Port Deposit.
During a school- wide assembly on Thursday morning, post commander Bruce Edwards Jr. and Bob West, chairman of
North East Elementary School teacher Jennifer Edwards speaks to students after receiving the VFW teacher of the year award.
the teacher of the year committee for the VFW Department of Maryland, presented a glass apple and a check to Jennifer Edwards.
Though the Port Deposit post has nominated teachers in the past, it has never had anyone recognized at the state level, Bruce Edwards said. The award presentation was extra special for him since he got to help present the award to his wife.
The two have deep roots in the county, having first met at Cecil College 18 years ago, and Bruce said
seeing his wife earn the honor was a great feeling.
“We’ve never had anyone go this far,” he said. “It’s a real good feeling that not just she got ( the award) but for the VFW as well.”
Jennifer Edwards, a Perr yville native, has worked at North East Elementary School for the past 13 years and is very involved at the Port Deposit post. For many years, she chaired the post’s Patriot’s Pen Essay contest, soliciting essays from county schools and helping select the nominees. She also helps out with VFW’s annual car show, which raises money to send care packages to soldiers.
As a teacher, Jennifer Edwards said she always talks to her students about Veterans Day and what the day means.
And though she found out about the award nearly three weeks ago, Edwards said the recognition is still sinking in.
“I’m still pretty shocked that I got this,” she said. “It’s really an honor to be chosen for teacher of the year out of all those selections.”
Jennifer Edwards, a teacher at North East Elementary School, receives the VFW teacher of the year award from Bob West, chairman of the teacher of the year committee for the VFW Department of Maryland as her husband Bruce Edwards Jr. looks on.
North East Elementary School teacher Jennifer Edwards receives the VFW teacher of the year award from Bob West, chairman of the teacher of the year committee for the VFW Department of Maryland.