A Pulaski School District teacher has made it her mission to educate, not only her kindergartners but also the next generation of educators. Now, she is getting some well-deserved recognition for her impact on future teachers.
Local 5’s Brittany Falkers caught up with Mrs. Jane School at Sunnyside Elementary School in the Pulaski School District to find out what makes this mentor such a terrific teacher.
It takes a special kind of person to teach kindergarten, but and even more unique educator to shape future teachers at the same time. With the last name of School, Mrs. Jane School fits the bill.
“I think I was just destined to be a teacher,” School said.
Being a kindergarten teacher has been School’s dream job for more than two decades, she said.
“I think it’s a great starting point for the children to come in and kind of sets the tone for learning for the rest of their life,” School said. “So, for me, kindergarten is a passion.”
While she is giving her young students the best start to public education a kid could ask for, it’s her mentorship of future teachers that is causing others to take note.
“Mrs. School, I always say, is the epitome of a kindergarten teacher. To be Mrs. School in classroom 123-A at Sunnyside Elementary; it almost sounds too fake to be real,” former student teacher Kelly Schumacher said.
During her 17 years at Sunnyside Elementary Mrs. School has risen to the challenge of guiding student teachers in the beginning of their careers. She has invited dozens of soon-to-be educators into her classroom to prepare them for the field she has made her life’s work.
“It enables me to give back to the teaching profession that I love so much,” School said. “I want to help the youth, I want to help the new teachers get started and be successful.”
Kelly Schumacher recently graduated from St. Norbert College in DePere and, thanks to Mrs. School, is ready for her career in education.
“Mrs. School welcomed me in and has welcomed any idea I had,” Schumacher said, “[She] nurtured me to become the teacher that she saw I could be and definitely pushed me to get to that level.”
Mrs. School was recently honored by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges with the Teacher Education Pre-Service Educator Award for her work with up-and-coming teachers.
“It made me feel really good, but it also made me reflect on all of my peers and my colleagues that I work with because I wouldn’t be who I am without all of them, “School said. “I feel like they helped shape who I am and I think collaboration, and them being a part of what I do as well, is equally important.”
“Jane is willing to take on some of these student teachers and share her knowledge, her expertise, giving them tools to be successful moving forward with their careers in this field,” Principal of Sunnyside Elementary Marc Klawiter said.
As for the next generation of teachers who have learned from her, they are counting themselves lucky to have been schooled by Mrs. School.
“She just truly wants the kids to succeed and I think that’s what I took away the most, because it truly is a profession where it’s all about your heart,” Schumacher said.
If you know of a teacher who goes above and beyond in the classroom, studio, or unconventional space let us know and nominate them to be our next Terrific Teacher. Just email Brittany Falkers at email@example.com.