“Belinda motivates and inspires her pupils to push themselves beyond where they think they can perform while instilling a sense of ownership in their work.”

Belinda Jenks, High School English Teacher, Miami Trace Local School District

The following story was shared by Miami Trace Local School District in selecting Belinda Jenks as a 2017 Celebrate Teaching Distinguished Educator. 

Belinda has completed more than 20 years in education. She has positively impacted and continues to impact many young people each school year. Teaching six periods of English at Miami Trace High School, 9th grade and 12th grade, she instructs both ends of the age spectrum in a secondary setting. In addition, her courses range from at-risk students in ELA I to AP English Literature and Composition approved by the College Board. 

Belinda motivates and inspires her pupils to push themselves beyond where they think they can perform while instilling a sense of ownership in their work. One of her senior students had this to say: “Mrs. Jenks doesn’t just teach English; she equips us with literary skills and knowledge allowing us to both mentally dissect literature and compose writing of high quality. Mrs. Jenks makes English content enjoyable for everyone, including math and science brains like myself.” 

Another student claimed: “Mrs. Jenks sees the potential in all of us. She’s tough, but she cares about us and makes us perform greater than what we ever thought is possible.”

From the big picture, Mrs. Jenks has embraced multiple curriculum transitions, various testing format changes (local, state, and national), and a number of accountability measures during her time in the classroom thus far. She has used these transitions as opportunities to model for students the concept of dealing with change, and she has provided leadership for her colleagues along the way.