TEACHER FEATURE

Jennifer Ziegler of Antelope Elementary

Dec 12, 2018, 11:42 AM | Updated: Aug 3, 2022, 2:36 pm
...

The following was submitted by Gary Ziegler.

“Jennifer Ziegler and I were newly engaged when she received her first kindergarten teaching position. During that year, this young, energetic teacher constantly left the other teachers in awe because she was always on the go. They warned her that the energy and enthusiasm wouldn’t last, and she laughingly assured them that would not be the case. 25 years later, she is still going strong! Her love for education, and primarily kindergarten has made her the outstanding teacher she has become and continues to be.

Mrs. Ziegler has a passion for teaching all students, but primarily loves the children that come from low-economic areas that need more than just an education. She loves her students, and, by showing that through her teaching, help her students to love learning. Her principal, Jennie DeFriez recently commented how exciting it is to see the kindergartners literally skip down the hall on their way to Mrs. Ziegler’s class each day because they can’t wait to see what comes next!

Her classroom is filled with laughter and excitement as she takes normal curriculum and makes it come alive! When she reads a book, she uses character voices and expressions. She poses questions to the children that make them anticipate what comes on the next pages. Her innovative lessons incorporate the students into the planning and presentation levels as she not only teaches them math but makes them mathematicians and expects these 5 and 6-year-olds to present their deductions and findings to the class. When teaching 3D shapes, she goes above and beyond to make learning a very sensorial experience. Instead of simply learning about cones and cubes, spheres and cylinders, they see the real-life application through foods that represent each of the shapes such as malted milk balls for spheres, bugle corn snacks and Hershey kisses for cones, tootsie rolls for cylinders and croutons for cubes. They start to notice normal household items like apples or funnels to be 3D shapes as well. It is no surprise that she uses similar methods in teaching letters, numbers, and sounds.

Mrs. Ziegler has high expectations for her students that extend beyond the state’s requirements for kindergarten mastery. She encourages each child to be able to count and write to 100 despite the requirement to know much less. She holds a pizza party for each of her classes when every student can write both their first and last name and are inducted to the “Name Club” (amidst cheers from their peers every time one of the students accomplishes it). They are taught from the start that educational success comes when the class unites as a team and her students learn early on that individual success is measured by how well they succeed together.

But I think the crowning attribute of Mrs. Ziegler that makes her an effective teacher is that because she came from difficult family circumstances and one who disliked school as a child, she wants to help every child that walks through her door to have a different experience. It is her love for the children themselves and the reality that many come from very difficult life circumstances that fuels that desire even more. She endeavors to provide a better life for these kids both in and out of her classroom. For example, every year at Christmastime she provides each with a boxed gift that not only includes treats, but warm winter gloves, scissors, colored pencils, notebooks (and even at times calculators) that she purchases from her own pocket. She builds math games to send home with each child so that they can practice skills with their families. She gives each child a reading book at the beginning of the school year, at Christmas, on their birthdays, and at the end of the year to build their personal collection and encourage reading at home. But most amazingly (in my opinion) is the personalized hand-made scrapbook she builds for each child every year. It is filled with photos of their learning and other experiences as well as examples of their work throughout the year. Each book is roughly 50 pages large and is presented to them and their parents at an end-of-year graduation social she hosts. At the end of this school year, she will have presented more than 450 of these books to students just at Antelope Elementary.

I may be biased, but Jennifer Ziegler’s influence on not only countless children, but as a mentor teacher, host to student teachers, presenter and curriculum writer on the district and state level, as well as meeting the needs of her fellow faculty members as a long-time chair of JSSC for her school aptly makes her a deserving recipient of the KSL and Zions Bank “Teacher Feature” Award.”

Today’s Top Stories

Teacher Feature

...
Emily Ashmead

Teacher Feature is back in session

After what felt like an extended summer vacation, KSL's Teacher Feature program is back in session. This year's Teacher Feature primary sponsor is Burt Brothers Tire & Service. The company has been involved with Teacher Feature for more than ten years, and says they are appreciative of a way to give back. 
2 years ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Mark Landeen, South Jordan Middle School

The following was submitted by JR Landeen. “I know it may seem weird that I am nominating my own father but I truly believe he is deserving of this award. I was never his student in the classroom or even attended his school but I know what kind of teacher he is. I remember growing […]
3 years ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Janie Lauritzen, Welby Elementary

The following was submitted by Jon P. Lauritzen. “Janie Lauritzen has taught kindergarten at South Jordan’s Welby Elementary for 19 years. She’s that special teacher that has parents jockeying with the school administration to make sure their children get into her classes. Over the years, she has taught children with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and […]
3 years ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Jen Lightfoot, Viewmont Elementary

The following was submitted by Emily Chandler. “This year my child was diagnosed with Rheumatic fever in early September. Rheumatic fever is a rare disorder and a noncontagious acute fever marked by inflammation and pain in the joints. It chiefly affects young people and is caused by a streptococcal infection. Rheumatic fever will go after […]
3 years ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Shanalee Sadler, Alta High School

The following was submitted by Shana Davis. Shanalee Sadler is a special education teacher at Alta High School. She has been my son’s teacher for the past 3 and a half years. My son has autism and is a senior at Alta High School. Mrs. Sadler has gone to great lengths to teach my son […]
3 years ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Alice Erickson, Willow Canyon Elementary

The following was submitted by Amourette Bradley. “Have you ever had a teacher that stood above the rest? What if thirty years later, your child shared that same teacher? And what if he or she proved not only as extraordinary as you remembered, but even more so? Alice Erickson is that most extraordinary teacher. Many […]
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Jennifer Ziegler of Antelope Elementary