JA Teacher of the Year hails from Southern Middle
JA’s Teacher of the Year for 2019-20 is Rhonda Jackson of Southern Middle School. She would have been saluted at the annual Adopt-A-School & Community Partners Breakfast Reception hosted by Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass. Like most spring activities, JA’s March 24 event was canceled because of COVID-19 restrictions.
JA educates young people about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and basic financial matters. Jackson, who has taught Life Essentials at Southern for two years, uses the JA curriculum with her seventh graders. “This is a critical age where JA gets students thinking about these topics even before they have their first official job. This allows them to go into their work experience with the mindset of saving money, understanding what debt is and how it impacts them, and it helps them make wise financial decisions,” she said.
The Volunteer of the Year award went to Kathy Leigh, who happens to partner with Southern. “Ms. Leigh is awesome and has always been a joy to have teach my classes,” Jackson said. “She gets the students engaged, she is patient, and she also gets students to go deeper into the topics by encouraging them to further investigate stocks to understand why the prices fluctuate based on current events.”
Jackson praised JA for supporting students across Central Kentucky. “The volunteers are amazing and bring a wealth of information to the class. They not only teach the JA topics, they bring life experience about the real world,” she said. “The JA volunteers have helped my students open up, have initiated family conversations, and helped extend students’ math skills.”
JA’s Volunteer of the Year outside Fayette was Roy Turley of Clark County.
In JA’s Adopt-A-School program, companies provide student materials and volunteer training for a particular school. Other partners support the financial literacy programs and JA curriculum. Each has invested at least $5,000.