Southaven native and DeSoto Central Middle School sixth grade math teacher, Rachel Jenné has been named DeSoto County School District’s 2021-22 Teacher of the Year. 

Following COVID-19, Jenné said there were some adjustments to be made when children returned to her classroom full time. 

“A lot of them were at home for a year and a half so getting them back on grade level and back in the classroom was hard,” Jenné said. “Socialization is a big part of it.” 

Jenné earned the honor of Teacher of the Year through her creative techniques for classroom engagement. The main way she did this was by transforming her classroom into different learning environments.

“We’ve done things like hospitals, crime scenes, and big Halloween wars where they get to get up and socialize and learn,” Jenné said.

With the rise of virtual learning, many schools found themselves more equipped with technology in the classroom. Jenné said the increase in technology is helpful, but it is important to use it sparingly.  

“We have had those benefits of having devices where they can use them for testing and playing interactive games,” Jenné said. “It’s about not overusing them, and I try not to have them on computers all day everyday, only where it’s appropriate.” 

Jenné said she is extremely honored to be named Teacher of the Year, and she wants to use her skills to help other teachers. 

“What an honor to be Teacher of the Year for not only my school but for the county, as well,” Jenné said. “I put all of these things in play, and I want to be able to inspire other teachers to jump on and jump in with me, and if I can help in any way, I try to do my best.” 

Jenné has already started to share her ideas and techniques with other teachers within DCMS and throughout the county. 

“I’ve put together lessons and shared them with the rest of the county,” Jenné said. “I’ve sent my room transformations to other schools to help.”

Ultimately, Jenné said her main motivation is the children and teachers throughout the DeSoto County School District. 

“I’m here for the kids and to help other teachers in my building and across the county,” Jenné said.

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