Jennifer Riesenmy was named the Ladue Schools Teacher of the Year at the annual Employee Recognition Event held on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Eleven retirees, seven building teachers of the year and two Distinguished Service staff members were also honored at the event.
Jennifer is an English as a Second Language teacher at Old Bonhomme. She is in her 19th year of teaching in the district, and she has taught in five of the district’s eight schools. Her students come from 20 countries, have 15 different home languages, and are all over the scale in terms of their mastery of the English language.
Her love for teaching began when she volunteered at a preschool for low-income families that prepared them for a successful kindergarten experience. She began her career with us as a First Grade Intern in 1999, then taught general education from 2000-2013.
However, the rubber really hit the road when Jennifer established the English as a Second Language program and the Math Learning Lab at the Fifth Grade Center in its opening year.
She states that “It is essential when engaging students from such diverse backgrounds to bridge cultural gaps and to ensure that the treatment of all students is socially just.” This philosophy is proven in her classroom as she develops individualized lesson plans that take into account each child’s learning style and cultural background. She ensures that the books available to her students are both “windows and mirrors” — so that students see themselves in the books, while also learning about others.
Jennifer received a $500 grant from the Ladue Education Foundation for her recognition.