NEES teacher named Md. VFW teacher of the year

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JES­SICA IANNETTA

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

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.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

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.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

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.

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