Jennifer Jarnagin received a pleasant surprise in the mail recently. She opened an envelope containing what she assumed was a brochure and found something quite different and rather more rewarding -- letter from the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) informing Jarnagin that she had been named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction.
Jarnagin, a McKinney Boyd High School Latin teacher, became eligible for the award when she was nominated by former student Glen Tinoco who cited her outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the classroom. Student members of NSHSS may nominate teachers who have made the most significant impact on them academically. The award is granted to teachers who serve as positive role models, inspiring their students to pursue excellence.
“Dedicated educators who exhibit a commitment to excellence deserve our highest praise and appreciation,” said NSHSS President James Lewis. “We’re excited to provide an ongoing means to do so, and we encourage our members to nominate teachers who have contributed to their academic success.”
According to their website, NSHSS “recognizes excellence at the high school level and encourages members of the organization to apply their unique talents, vision and potential for the betterment of themselves and the world.” NSHSS boasts more than 650,000 members in 120 countries.
“I was truly touched to find out not only that Glen had nominated me for this award, but that I had won. I am so grateful to be recognized for my work,” said Jarnagin. “I am passionate about education and strive to empower my students; knowing that I've helped to make a difference is truly indescribable. I want to thank Glen for taking the time to think of me, and I hope he knows how lucky I feel to get to teach great kids like him.”
To be recognized by one’s peers is rewarding. For teachers, perhaps even more gratifying is receiving recognition from the students to whom they dedicate so much of their time and energy.