BRUSSELS — February 25, 2022 — DoDEA Europe West Acting Superintendent, Ms. Melissa Hayes, announces the selection of Ms. Jennifer Mench as Europe West District Teacher of the Year for 2023
Jennifer Mench teaches 6th grade Integrated Science and AVID Elective (7 – 8th grade) at Spangdahlem Middle School (SpMS) in the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Europe West District. In 2020, Ms. Mench earned her Master of Education from George Mason University, majoring in Curriculum and Instruction. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Geography in 1993 from Radford University, majoring in Cartography and Planning. Ms. Mench teaches Next Generation Science Standards, wherein she engages students in discussions, models activities and labs, and teaches the importance of reasoning. In 2021, Ms. Mench began teaching the AVID Elective and was selected to be AVID Coordinator.
Ms. Mench’s support of students extends beyond the classroom. She is in her fourth year celebrating student success as Awards Coordinator. Ms. Mench serves as SpMS School News Liaison, updating the community about events, accolades, and day-to-day news related to the school.
As a DoDEA educator, Ms. Mench focuses on teaching students to think like scientists. She encourages all students to ask questions, seek evidence, and question what they think they know. Knowing students are preparing for jobs that likely do not yet exist, Ms. Mench focuses on teaching her students 21st Century foundational skills.
The DoDEA Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and honors exemplary Pre-K, through high school teachers. The process begins at the nomination level where teachers may be nominated by peers, administrators, parents, students or community members.
Each District Teacher of the Year is selected by a district panel using specified criteria to review District teacher of the Year applications. Eight teachers will be named District Teacher of the Year for 2023. Each District Teacher of the Year is invited to apply for the DoDEA Teacher of the Year.
The National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), identifies exceptional teachers nationwide, celebrates their effective work in and outside of the classroom, amplifies their voices and empowers them to take part in policy discussions at the state and national levels.
The year of service for the 2023 District Teacher and the 2023 DoDEA Teacher of the Year will begin on January 1, 2023 and runs through December 2023. The selection is made months before the term begins to allow the DoDEA candidate and other candidates from the 50 states time to participate in the National Teacher of the Year program, which selects a finalist in December. The current (2022) DoDEA Teacher of the Year's term runs through the end of December 2022.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages Pre-Kindergarten through 12th-grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.