West Hartford 2019 Teacher of the Year Announced

Jennifer Stanish. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Wolcott Elementary School teacher Jennifer Stanish has been named West Hartford’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

By Ronni Newton

Jennifer Stanish was announced as the 2018 Teacher of the Year Thursday evening at the annual West Hartford Education Association/West Hartford Administrator’s Recognition Dinner held at the Farmington Club.

“What I do in the classroom every day, it’s my passion, and it’s also my hobby,” Stanish told We-Ha.com at a reception at Town Hall honoring the three Teacher of the Year finalists earlier this month.

Stanish said she been nominated for Teacher of the Year in the past, but this year was the first time she took on the rigorous challenge, and said she decided to do it not for herself but for her parents, for her own kids, and for the school.

Stanish earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the Hartt School of Music, but changed course and decided she really wanted to teach, to focus on youth. She’s from a family of teachers; her mom is a teacher in Southington and her father is also a teacher in West Hartford.

Stanish continued her education and earned a B.S. and master’s in Education from Central Connecticut State University. 

She said she thinks she was nominated for Teacher of the Year because “of my focus on the students 100 percent of the time.” Her passion, commitment, creativity, and use of her musical background help her relate to the children, and their families. “I pour my heart into it every day.”

Stanish has graduated from the West Hartford Public School’s Leadership Academy, and has been a member of TEAM (Teacher Education and Mentoring Program) for beginning teachers, a grade-level instructional leader, and part of the school-based leadership team. She has led professional development workshops, helped design the curriculum, and serves on the WHPS Superintendent’s Advisory and School-based Safe School Climate Committee.

Stanish is also a dedicated volunteer and participant in school events like International Night, Family Game Night, Math Night, School Fair, and the Haunted Forest.

Stanish and her husband, Stephen, live in Southington with their daughter, Chloe (a junior at Southington High School) and son, Chase (eighth grade).

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