Lawrence M. Jehnert, third grade teacher at Edgewood Elementary School and 12-year educator with Harford County Public Schools (HCPS), was named the 2014-15 HCPS Teacher of the Year during a surprise announcement at the 20th Annual Harford County Teacher of the Year Banquet. The dinner banquet for 150 guests, provided by Lou Ward, owner of the Bayou Restaurant in Havre de Grace, and HAR-CO Credit Union, was held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at the Bayou Restaurant.
Board of Education of Harford County President Nancy Reynolds, along with Superintendent of Schools Barbara P. Canavan, made the announcement on Wednesday evening during the program that included guests Harford County Council President William K. Boniface, County Executive David R. Craig, members of the Maryland senate and delegation and the county council, as well as school administrators, educators, students, family and friends.
“The Teacher of the Year banquet is an event where we celebrate the vocation of teaching,” shared Superintendent Barbara Canavan. “Mr. Jehnert exemplifies the qualities of a dedicated teacher and consummate professional. I am extremely proud that he will be representing Harford County Public Schools teachers at the state level. Mr. Jehnert represents teachers across our county who are making an integral impact in the lives of our children.”
Mr. Jehnert is proud to serve the Edgewood community. He teaches with fierce commitment to learning and unwavering determination to reach each and every student. When delivering instruction, he takes a patient approach and focuses more on developing each student and his or her skill set, realizing that accomplishments and achievements will come in time. During the 2012-13 school year, 87 percent of students in Mr. Jehnert’s homeroom achieved proficient or advanced status on the MSA.
While Mr. Jehnert is proud of the testing results his students have achieved, he considers behavior to be his passion, and feels that behavior has always been the aspect of a student he is able to best develop. He attempts to build a positive personal connect with not just the students that walk through his classroom door, but every single student within Edgewood Elementary School.
“Mr. Jehnert’s impact at Edgewood Elementary – on his students and colleagues – is anything but ordinary,” said Edgewood Elementary School teacher Erika Jones, who nominated him for the award. “He can be credited with truly infusing our school days with positivity. The kids look at him, wide-eyed, and listen to his honest stories about what he was like as a student and how far he has come. They connect and engage with him in a way I have never seen with any other teacher.”
Mr. Jehnert is an active member of his school, not just in his personal classroom. He was closely involved with the School Improvement Team for many years, where he contributed his knowledge, viewpoints and experience to further the common good of Edgewood Elementary School. Three years ago, he stepped into another leadership role for his school as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Team Leader. In this capacity, he overhauled the entire program and continues to work tirelessly and collaboratively to improve the overall behavior of the students in his school. In addition, he coordinated a professional development seminar for teachers and staff of Edgewood Elementary on the Pyramid of Success, where they developed morals and character traits that are vitally important to the student demographic at Edgewood Elementary.
Mr. Lawrence Jehnert holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Elementary Education, both earned at Towson University. Mr. Jehnert began his teaching career at Edgewood Elementary School in 2002. During his tenure, Mr. Jehnert has achieved the Greater Excellence in Education Foundation’s Everyday Hero honor (2012) and Boys and Girls Club Teacher of the Year honor (2004).
As the Harford County Teacher of the Year, Mr. Jehnert received free lease of a brand new 2013 Mazda3 for one year courtesy of Cook Auto, a Dell laptop, a watch from Saxon’s Diamond Centers and a custom ring from Jostens. In addition, he was awarded multiple dinner and bank gift certificates, local merchant gift cards and $1,200 from HAR-CO Credit Union provided to all five finalists.
Mr. Jehnert will also compete for the title of Maryland Teacher of the Year to represent teachers across the state as an education spokesperson. The state winner will be announced at the Maryland Teacher of the Year Gala in October.
Visit www.hcps.org for more information on the 2014-15 HCPS Teacher of the Year, Mr. Lawrence M. Jehnert, as well as the five Harford County Teacher of the Year finalists.