Prizes pile up for East social studies teacher
By Jessica Steger, Current Staff
It’s been a good year for Jessica Flitter, East social studies teacher.
On May 2, Flitter received the Teacher of the Year award from the Rolfs Educational Foundation. Flitter is an AP Psychology and U.S. history teacher as well as Key Club co-adviser. She has taught in the West Bend School District for 7 of her 11 years of teaching.
Flitter accepted the award with great gratitude.
“I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor. Their generosity and commitment to our community and education is greatly appreciated,” Flitter said.
Earlier this year Flitter also won the Wisconsin Upper Michigan District Key Club Outstanding Faculty Adviser award. Flitter’s response to winning that award is to praise the students.
“Students in Key Club continuously amaze me with their dedication to service in our schools and community. This year we had an outstanding leadership board and the club became very student-centered,” Flitter said.
All of Flitter’s efforts to be a great teacher have been noticed by the student body.
“She works so hard to make psychology a fun class for every single one of us with her songs, dances, and stories to help us remember difficult terms,” Isabel Ortiz, an East senior, said. “I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to have her as a teacher because without her I wouldn’t have found my love for abnormal psychology.”
Ortiz also mentioned how Flitter demonstrates her dedication and caring for her students.
“She pulled me aside after class one day and encouraged me to continue to work hard in her class because I was starting to slack off a bit. I guess that’s one of the ways she is a great teacher because she truly cares about connecting the students to the material and making us successful for the AP test,” Ortiz said.
“She works so hard to make psychology a fun class with her songs, dances, and stories.”
– Isabel Ortiz, East senior
Elisabeth Rusch, an East senior, made a similar statement. “I think she’s a great teacher because she really cares about her students and is very passionate about psychology. She was always willing to help me and worked around my schedule which was super nice and shows how dedicated she is to helping her students succeed,” Rusch said.
When asked why she thought she had won the Rolfs award, Flitter said she hoped it was her love and passion for learning. “Teaching motivates me to do my best and challenges me to continue learning and developing myself,” Flitter said.
Tracey Conners, director of elementary education, has noticed Flitter’s passion for teaching. “Mrs. Flitter’s dedication to her students is outstanding. She works to engage all her students and make learning relevant,” Conners said. Next year Conners will serve as interim principal of WBHS.
Colleagues, students, and/or parents nominate individuals for the Rolfs award. Nominees are then evaluated and voted on by previous recipients, the Rolfs Foundation committee, and other district employees. Recent winners of the high school Rolfs award include Karen Wysocky, Cindy Mennig, Ryan Olson, Ryan Johnson, Eric Beltmann and Jennifer Mesko.
Despite the formal awards, Flitter’s goal for teaching is more focused on benefiting her students. “I feel my greatest accomplishment as an educator is when I can help my students gain a passion for learning and feel empowered when they reach their goals and beyond,” Flitter said.
(Photograph by Lauren Sorensen, Editor in Chief.)