Jenn Stormer, a Wright State University education alumna, was named the State Board of Education District 3 Teacher of the Year.
Stormer, who teaches STEM in grades three through six at Northmoor Elementary in Northmont City Schools, was one of 11 district teachers of the year in Ohio.
“Teaching is my passion and a calling, and it is nice to be recognized for my efforts,” Stormer said. “I know that I am only one representative of the thousands of excellent educators we have in Ohio, and it is an honor to have been given this title.”
She said she looks forward to working with the other district teachers of the year on committees and educational endeavors.
“I am so eager to meet and learn from the other incredible educators that were presented with the title for their districts,” said Stormer, who earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from Wright State.
Stormer has been an educator for Northmont City Schools for 22 years and has taught STEM in the district’s gifted programming since 2014.
As a science and STEM teacher, she is a proponent of hands-on, inquiry-based learning with real-world connections. She implements project-based learning and STEM skills in her classroom, encouraging a high level of engagement in her students.
“In my experience, students feel empowered when given the opportunity to solve problems and participate in tangible learning,” she said.
She believes that students learn best from teachers with whom they feel connected.
“I make it a priority to get to know my students and create a space in which they feel welcomed and valued,” she said.
She also believes in creating strong relationships with her students, their families and her colleagues. “In establishing these relationships, students can feel supported by a team of stakeholders working with and for them,” she said.
Stormer serves as a project-based learning lead for her district and has provided project-based learning training for educators throughout Northmont City Schools, Montgomery County and at a National Science Teaching Association regional conference.
She has attended professional development programs including Honeywell’s Educators at Space Camp and the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. She has served as a STEM Fellow for the Dayton Regional STEM Center, as a teacher liaison for the Space Foundation and has co-presented at a National Science Teaching Association national conference.
She started working with Air Camp in 2017 as a teacher counselor and now serves as the elementary curriculum specialist and as a teacher camp advisor.
In 2018, Stormer joined an equity fellowship through the Montgomery County Educational Service Center. She is passionate about equity issues in education and has facilitated and has led numerous staff professional development sessions on equity.
In addition to her master’s degree in educational leadership, Stormer earned a gifted endorsement from Wright State and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Miami University.
Stormer said her Wright State professors were very knowledgeable and passionate about their content and helped her create lessons and projects that she was able to use in her classroom.
She also valued the opportunity to collaborate with her classmates in her courses and on projects. “I am still connected to many of my former classmates, which remains an asset in sharing ideas and educational strategies,” she said.
She said teaching through the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, especially when classes had to be taught online. Her fellow teachers had to work harder than ever to revamp lessons and strategies to reach students virtually and provide them with a high-quality education despite the circumstances, she said.
“While the changes brought with the pandemic have been difficult, frustrating and at times almost defeating, I can say that over the past year and a half I have been inspired by my colleagues’ dedication, and I have learned a great deal more about technology,” Stormer said. “I have also been encouraged by my students’ resiliency and determination in navigating the challenges they are experiencing.”
Stormer obtained National Board Certification in 2006 and achieved Ohio Master Teacher designation in 2016. She received the Dayton Regional STEM Center STEM Education School Collaboration Award, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Climate Steward Education Project Grant Award and the Ohio Energy Project Outstanding Energy Efficiency Education Award. She also coached the 2020 national winners in the ExploraVision competition.