IRVINGTON, NJ – Irvington High School head varsity softball coach/Irvington Middle School physical education teacher Jenna Weis was named a “Teachers Who Rock” award recipient by the New Jersey Education Association. The award goes to teachers who “go beyond the call of duty” for their students outside the classroom. There are 24 teachers who earn this award statewide.
WDHA radio ran a radio spot announcing Coach Weiss’ selection.
Weiss will attend an awards banquet on April 10 with the other winners.
Weiss was nominated by Irvington Athletics Director/Supervisor of Athletics Dr. John Taylor.
In his nomination form, Taylor praised Weiss and cited her inspirational efforts to help her students. “Ms. Weiss is able to empower students to improve their self-image, confidence, perseverance, and future outlook due to the life lessons, caring, and respect she gives her learners,” Taylor wrote in the nomination form. “Ms. Weiss’ effort to help her students go beyond the classroom. She serves as the head boys soccer coach at University Middle School and the head girls softball coach at Irvington High School. She runs a before-school physically activity program, serves as the operations manager at home basketball games, and is always present for student events involving parents. Ms. Weiss is in constant communication with families, administrators, and counselors regarding students in crisis, and often serves as a mentor to learners struggling to stay in school.”
Weiss expressed her gratitude in receiving this award.
“Winning this award is an amazing accomplishment as an educator,” she said in an email to The Irvington Herald. “I am extremely humbled and proud that I was considered for this year’s NJEA ‘Teacher Who Rocks’ award. Winning this award gave me the confidence that my job is being done right. It goes so much further than just the classroom. Every student of mine is important and they know that. “
Weiss also thanked Taylor for nominating her, and praised her students.
“After reading the story that was submitted and hearing how my Supervisor, Dr. Taylor, submitted my story, I was truly taken back emotionally. The things that were said were touching and heartfelt. For someone to see me in that way is an honor in itself. I am thankful for Dr. Taylor and his confidence in me as a teacher.
“However, this award is not just about me. My school, staff and students are a part of this award as well. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be writing this or winning any such award.”
Weiss also would like to share this award with the other teachers in the Irvington School District.
“This award also goes to the Irvington School District and every teacher that puts their best foot forward and makes a difference, in and out of the classroom. I truly appreciate everything this award has to offer. I hope that other teachers strive to be as successful in their endeavors as educators.”
Weiss continued, “Being identified as an educator who rocks is awesome and I am so glad this year I can say that winner was me!”
Weiss guided the Irvington softball team to a successful 14-7 season last spring.