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Opinion: In Praise of Stephanie Jennis, 2023-2024 Educator of the Year

Liz Bukh
English Teacher Stephanie Jennis has been named the RHS 2023-2024 Educator of the Year.

As one of Stephanie Jennis’ appreciative senior English students and Yearbook editors, I was delighted to hear that she had been named the high school’s 2023 – 2024 Educator of the Year.

I have known Ms. Jennis since my sophomore year, when I joined the staff of the Yearbook, the club she co-advises, and where I’m now editor-in-chief. Over the past two and a half years, I’ve admired her on several fronts. First, she is an incredibly hard worker, and I’ve never seen her back down from a challenge. Curating the Yearbook is a long and sometimes tedious task; however, she tackles “the beast” year after year. She is also easy to talk to, which is why her classroom has been a “safe space” for me during the majority of my time at RHS.

Many of her students feel the same way. “During lunch, her classroom is always open to students, whether they need to ask for extra help to improve their writing or just a friendly face to talk to,” senior Samantha Einfieldt said. “She does her best to work with and know each student individually, committing herself to helping each student improve and giving valuable feedback.”

As a current senior in her AP Literature class, I have experienced first-hand her fierce creativity and unrelenting effort to make her classes engaging and comfortable for all of her students. As the class analyzes difficult literature like Shakespeare, she goes out of her way to make the text engaging and digestible. Her passion for English is evident in every lesson she teaches us.

At the beginning of class, Ms. Jennis greets all of her students with a smile on her face and then goes above and beyond to help all of us achieve our goals, no matter our skill level. During class, in addition to strengthening her students’ literary analytic and writing skills, Ms. Jennis promotes our emotional well-being, granting us access to her “calm kiosk,” which consists of fidget toys and meditation guides, as well as leading us in guided activities on mindfulness.

In awarding her this title, RHS administrators publicly recognized her wonderful attributes as a teacher. “We at RHS believe an outstanding teacher is one who exhibits a passion for learning and is always seeking to build strong relationships with their students,” RHS Principal Jessica Baxter said.  “I strongly believe that she empowers all of these qualities and brings them to the workplace every day.”

The 2023-2024 Educator of the Year is a well-deserved title for Ms. Jennis, as she is both a one-of-a-kind teacher and an incredible person.

About the Contributors
Lindsey Kudriavetz
Lindsey Kudriavetz, Editor-in-Chief

Lindsey Kudriavetz is a senior and an editor-in-chief for Rampage. Lindsey has been writing articles since her freshman year and completed Mrs. Finnell's Journalism I and II classes. Lindsey primarily writes sports articles, and she is also passionate about sports photography. Outside of writing, Lindsey is the executive producer for the Ram Report and editor-in-chief for the yearbook. She is also on the varsity softball team as a pitcher.

Liz Bukh
Liz Bukh, Photo Editor
Elizabeth (Liz) Bukh is a junior and the photo editor for Rampage. Liz has taken Intro to Photography as well as Photography I and II. This is her first year on staff at Rampage, and she is excited to take pictures for the school, whether they be for Rampage or the Yearbook. Outside of taking pictures, Liz does track and field and wants to work in the field of public relations in the future.
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