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Teacher of the Year



The 2017 - 2018 JRHS Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Jessica Sanchez!

Ms. Sanchez goes above and beyond for her students, as well as for her colleagues. I've watched her inspire her students, come up with innovative and engaging lessons, and stay involved in a number of school activities, all while individually helping me as I transitioned from RPS, and while maintaining her very busy household! She never lets anything interfere with her positive attitude or her teaching. She's just wonderful, and I think she's deserving of this award. :) Jessica has a positive attitude with students and faculty. Jessica has the best interests of her students. Jessica seems to be involved in many extra activities within the school that benefit students and teachers. Even when she has a lot going on outside of school, Jessie still manages to effectively build REAL relationships with kids and colleagues, motivate and engage students, and challenge her kids to think critically. She pushes limits when she knows that people are capable of doing more and being better and she refuses to accept excuses or lower her expectations. As a result, those same people feel like they have really accomplished something of which they can be proud. She is funny, personable, and highly knowledgeable about her content areas. She can teach anybody... and she does: collab classes, ESOL students, cinema, literature, writing, AND forensics. Her students run the gamut from struggling beginners to high level thinkers and she has made connections with students from ALL levels and walks of life. She supports kids outside of school in so many ways, from attending events just because she might know one kid who would be glad to see there to building a forensics team that has swiftly evolved into a force to be reckoned with. She represents a lot of the things that I want our school to be and she is, for me, a reason to stay at a time when there are a lot of challenges and frustrations. Her students love her and respect her for pushing their limits and asking them to do more. I had a group of students in class today who told me that Ethics in Film was the best class that they had ever taken and that they would rearrange their whole schedule for next year if they had the option to take another year of film class. They know that any time spent with Mrs. Sanchez is going to be worthwhile. For all of these reasons and more, I'd like to nominate Jessie for teacher of the year. She is essential to the school. She wears many hats and does it well. She is a wonderful colleague and a great teacher.


Jessie Sanchez is known as a do-er. She has helped with the wrestling team and led the tenth grade PLC, preparing kids for the Writing SOL. Currently she sponsors the Forensics club, and because of her passion and high expectations kids have flocked to it. They have found a niche in our community. They are working hard and building a cohesive, successful team. In addition, Jessie has whipped Seat Time into shape, helping kids graduate on time. She knows and cares about these kids. Her relationships with each of them allows her to counsel them and to hold them accountable in a positive and firm way. They respond to her. She has also taken on Wellness for teachers, organizing activities that, should we choose to participate, address our health and well-being outside JRHS's four walls. Her film classes overflow with kids who are learning about film techniques and about the ethics surrounding Hollywood and our society. Jessie is solidly grounded in what makes a good teacher - knowing her subject, meeting kids where they are, and holding students to their best and highest standards. Kids revere her and remember her for years beyond their time here. She treats them with fairness and honesty, imparting the skills of reading, writing, thinking, and working, skills they need. The upshot is that she cares - about her students, about you, about James River, and about the world beyond. She is passionate and dedicated, with boundless vision and energy. She deserves our recognition. Jessie Sanchez deserves to be Teacher of the Year.