ARLINGTON, VA — November 3, 2010 — Angelica L. Jordan is the Department of Defense Education Activity’s (DoDEA’s) 2011 Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Jordan, a 15-year teaching veteran, is a Partial Spanish Immersion and Spanish FLES teacher to second and third grade students at Mannheim Elementary School in Mannheim, Germany. She has been teaching in DoDEA schools for the past six years.
Prior to entering the DoDEA School System, Ms. Jordan held a variety of teaching and consultant positions in Minnesota, including:
Ms. Jordan majored in Spanish and Elementary Education, with minors in Secondary Education and FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School), at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was awarded a Master of Arts in Education from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. She also completed graduate courses in Spanish grammar, language, and Costa Rican culture from the Universidad de Costa Rica. In April 2009, Ms. Jordan completed continuing education coursework from the University of San Diego in guided reading, High Trust, classroom management, preschool methods, and differentiated instruction.
The DoDEA Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and promotes excellence in education. Teachers may be nominated by a peer, administrator, parent, student, or community member. Nominees complete an application packet and submit it to a selection panel at a DoDEA District Office where one applicant is chosen as the District Teacher of the Year. A second panel assembled at DoDEA Headquarters then selects the DoDEA Teacher of the Year from the candidates submitted from each district. The DoDEA Teacher of the Year competes for the title of National Teacher of the Year.
The Teacher of the Year Program encourages teachers to take an active part in educational leadership. As outstanding educators, those selected perform a variety of roles. They promote the teaching profession and work with school officials to enhance the quality of teaching and the education of DoDEA students.
Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald, Acting DoDEA Director, praised Ms. Jordan for her passion for teaching and learning and for her commitment to students of military families.
“Ms. Jordan is keenly aware of the unique circumstances military children face and focuses on creating a learning a learning environment where children feel safe, excited to learn, and inspired to achieve,” said Ms. Fitzgerald. “She collaborates with her colleagues to build consensus around learning themes and best practices. Her belief in teaching teams and their power to accomplish more than individual teachers has helped her school analyze assessment performance and design of standards-based lesson that deliver differentiated instruction in the classroom and positively impact student achievement. These practices have helped students at Mannheim Elementary transcend the challenges of transitions, deployments, and separations.”
The DoDEA Teacher of the Year selection panel cited Ms. Jordan’s ability to recognize diverse needs of students by addressing various learning styles and multiple intelligences. The panel also noted Ms. Jordan’s dedication to partnerships and communication, particularly her support of the community in teaching a Spanish pre-school group and her involvement in a Mothers of Multiples support group.
Bradford L. Seadore, Assistant Principal at Hainerberg Elementary School in Germany, was Jordan’s colleague in Mannheim for four years. Seadore praised Jordan for her efforts in establishing data-based student performance goals, her enthusiastic, caring and conscientious approach to teaching, and her commitment to being a team player as qualities that contribute to her accomplishments.
“Ms. Jordan’s work in establishing data-based student performance goals promoted data-driven instruction in our school,” said Seadore.
“Her work helped us to target lower-performing students and develop academic enrichment plans toward remediation,” he added. “Angelica is also a team player, offering expertise to the second-grade team through collaboration. Beyond the school, she is involved in the community, by providing school enrichment courses, serving on the School Improvement Team and the School-Home Partnership/Public Relations Committee.”
Jordan bases her approach to teaching on her belief that effective teachers spend time building relationships and quality teachers believe that all students can learn and instruction must be differentiated to meet learners’ needs.
“I truly believe that exceptional educators get to know students on a personal level,” she said. “When I know a student’s like, dislikes, and interests, I can differentiate lessons. “It’s also imperative to build positive relationships with the parents of students to become a partner in education with the student’s family. Establishing strong relationships with colleagues and administrators builds trust and promotes sharing of ideas and best practices to positively impact student achievement,” Jordan added.
Jordan believes her philosophy is best exemplified by the environment in her classroom.
“When students come into my room, they know I enjoy my job, respect them and expect them to do their best. It’s amazing the effort students will give when they know what is possible and what is expected.”
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.