Jenny Shea is the type of teacher all students want to be around. Jenny’s classroom is always open; students of all ages and abilities gather in her room during breaks and noon hour because she has created a safe accepting environment. Jenny connects with people; opening her heart as well as her door, to welcome everyone in where they can feel loved, appreciated, and listened to.
Jenny shares her passion for music with others, creating equal opportunities for everyone.
Jenny is the driving force behind the school musicals, bands, choirs and performing arts nights. They often have over 100 students participate in their musical each year. This includes all walks of life, from elite athletes to high honour students, to the at-risk students, and everyone in between.
This speaks volumes of Jenny. She takes the approach to include anybody who wants to be part of the production. Members of the community have commented on how inclusive Rothesay High School is, and a lot of this comes from Jenny and her willingness to create opportunities for everyone to shine.
Jenny inspires a love for performing, and the comradery that builds among the students in the musical is because of her and the countless hours she puts into her inclusive classroom and productions. Jenny creates opportunities for students to shine, something they may never have had the opportunity to do.
Two students in her classes, Bella and Anna, each have a strong passion for music. Jenny has taught these girls for the past four years, each year establishing goals for them to perform.
It wasn’t until Jenny’s unwavering support over the course of four years that Bella and Anna both experienced success in performing arts. Both of these students had challenges to overcome, but Jenny worked with each of them to reach their goals to perform.
This year, Bella performed three times in the Rothesay High’s performing arts nights. It was clear to everyone who witnessed her on stage, and anyone who encountered her overwhelming bubble of joy in the days that followed, exactly how much pride she has taken in those nights.
Through her enthusiastic interest in Anna’s passion for music and performing arts, Jenny provided a personal approach which Anna utilized in order to overcome some of her challenges. The progress that Anna made with Jenny is truly remarkable, and has had a profound impact on Anna’s confidence.
It is through Jenny’s hard work and desire that has truly helped Anna and Bella reach their goals with their classmates supporting and celebrating their achievements every step of the way.
Jenny has been outstanding and tireless in her efforts to bring a considerate and thoughtful approach to inclusive education in the school and community. She has always taken a stand out, active role to contribute to the inclusion and success of children at school, seeing the good side of students and what they have to offer. When other teachers see that something is working in her class, they will try it in their class, too.
Jenny is non-judgemental and strives to get the best out of all her students, regardless of their abilities. She creates a class environment where everyone is respected and supported; making sure everyone has the supports they need in order to succeed.
In his letter of nomination, vice principal Andrew Peters said there is a tremendous amount of satisfaction a school administrator feels when they walk into a classroom and see all students actively engaged in their learning and feeling supported by not only the teacher, but all the students in the room. That is the feeling you get when you walk into Jenny’s classroom; all students meeting their potential and feeling accepted.