And IUSD's High School Teacher of the Year is ... Jeanne Jelnick, the popular English teacher at Uni. With her husband, Jerry, in attendance, Jelnick learned of the honor in the staff lounge, where she and her colleagues had gathered for an announcement. Afterward, she sought to share the praise with her fellow Uni teachers.
Jeanne Jelnick, right, poses with Assistant Superintendent Cassie Parham.
"I'm shocked, surprised, embarrassed," she said. "I spend all of my working days around people who should be having their pictures taken right now instead of me." Interestingly enough, Jelnick has co-emceed the last few Excellence in Teaching Awards Dinners honoring IUSD's Teachers of the Year, and she's been tapped to do it again at this year's event, which will take place on April 23 at the Irvine Marriott. In the classroom, Jelnick is known for utilizing a raft of teaching strategies that are integrated seamlessly, ensuring students understand the content. Having achieved success at every level of high school English, she’s also emerged as a mentor to her fellow educators, establishing a monthly forum for those new to the teaching profession. Jelnick has consistently gone above and beyond to take a leadership role at Uni, including assisting with the development of ninth-grade “houses” that include English, science and world history. This year, she also served as coordinator of her school’s accrediting process, devoting countless hours to oversee the required steps and complete the comprehensive report. Similar to Northwood Elementary, Uni boasts a 2009-10 Teacher of the Year and a Teacher of Promise. Karla Covarrubias, who teaches world languages, was recognized in her classroom as an outstanding new educator.