Q & A: Guidance Counselor Jennifer Lanz newest “Teacher of the Year”

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NEW FALCON TEACHER of the Year Guidance Counselor Jenn Lanz (center) smiles ear to ear after learning she was chosen by colleagues to represent the school as the most outstanding teacher. Lanz stands with Head Guidance Director for VB Schools (left) Bobby Jamison, her husband and two boys after accepting the prestigious award.

The school hosted its annual Teacher of the Year and Distinguished Teacher ceremony the week before winter break in the library. The focus of this event is to give recognition to the school’s distinguished teachers, as well as traditionally present the newest “Teacher of the Year” award. However, this year, the administration named its first ever guidance counselor as the recipient, Mrs. Jennifer Lanz.

 

Q: What was your reaction when Dr. Kelly named you “Teacher of the Year?”

A: “I was extremely shocked, although I knew of my nomination Dr. Kelly announced it before he normally does, so I didn’t really have a chance to prepare myself for the acceptance.”

Q: How does someone become nominated for “Teacher of the Year?”

A: “To be put into the running for the award you must be nominated by students and you must meet the qualifications which are: be a fully licensed employee for five years, as well as submit a five page application packet that contains information such as a philosophy of teaching.”

Q: When and how did you discover that you were nominated? 

A: “I found out on Friday, Nov. 15 in an email from my friend, Mrs. Devlin, telling me about how some of her students wanted to nominate me for the award.”

Q: What do you believe put you above the competition?

A: “Being a very good advocate for students is what I focus on, as well as trying to keep strong communication with those that I work among side with.”

Q: What is your educational background?

A: “I was a business and marketing teacher at Granby High School for 12 years, as well as a special education teacher at Bayside High School for five before I became a counselor here two years ago.”

Q: How do you plan to become a better adviser to students in the future?

A: “I’m currently still taking college courses in order to become a more well-rounded individual in the field of education.”

Q: What do you believe are the qualities of a great guidance counselor and educator? 

A: “Patience and advocacy for students is number one because the student body needs someone to represent them. Another quality that is at the foundation of my job would have to be adaptability because my schedule constantly changes due to the needs of different students.”

Q: How did it feel to be the first guidance counselor to be awarded “Teacher of the Year?”

A: “I’m very honored to represent guidance counselors in this city because they are very misunderstood. This is due to the fact that much of our workload is behind the scenes and not directly in the classroom- especially in high school setting.”

Q: Do you plan on putting your name in as city-wide“Teacher or the Year” and how would one go about that?

A: “Yes, I do plan on being a nominee for the city-wide award and it requires me to fill out another application packet, as well as getting letters of recommendation from my co-workers.”

Q: Now that you have had time to process emotions, how do you feel after winning “Teacher of the Year?”

A: “I feel extremely proud to not only be nominated, but win the award because our school is filled with such amazing staff that being among the other winners is an honor.”