Mrs. Rodgers is the LCPS Teacher of the Year 2019!
Jennifer Rodgers, a social sciences and global studies teacher at Dominion High School, is this year’s Loudoun County nominee for The Washington Post Teacher of the Year Award.
The nominee for The Post award also is Loudoun County’s Teacher of the Year.
Rodgers, who has taught at Dominion since 2005, founded the Loudoun International Youth Leadership Summit in 2012 and serves as its director. This event brings more than 100 students from 24 countries to Loudoun for 10 days of examining world issues (eight Loudoun high schools now host international students and teaching staff for the event). Rodgers has secured more than $40,000 in grants for the International Youth Leadership Summit.
In addition to her teaching duties, Rodgers has sponsored Dominion’s Global Ambassadors Club since 2010; served as freshman and junior varsity girls’ basketball coach from 2005 to 2012; and assistant track and field coach from 2010 to 2102.
Michelle Quirin, school director of the Korea International School and a former Dominion assistant principal, wrote about how Rodgers’ teaching opens the world to others.
“Mrs. Rodgers first helps students and her colleagues better understand their own perspectives and to recognize others see the world through different lenses. This builds both self-awareness and empathy to open minds and hearts for learning and promotes the development of cross-cultural competencies. When we can openly seek to understand, without judgment, our capacity for growth increases exponentially. Mrs. Rodgers often reminds us ‘It’s not right; it’s not wrong; it’s just different.’”
Dominion Principal Dr. John Brewer said Rodgers’ efforts in the field of international education have profound effects on the school community and beyond. “Dominion High School students who have hosted international students and those who have traveled abroad frequently experience life-altering encounters with cultural difference and global interdependence that would be impossible to teach in a traditional classroom setting.”
Dominion Social Science Chair Steve Hicks wrote that Rodgers creates a dynamic classroom.
“Observing one of Jen’s classes is a fantastic experience. Her student-centered classroom encourages student participation…She hosts a Constitutional Convention reception where each student takes on one of the personalities of a founding father. Her lessons often include guest speakers. One day, I walked in and the students were using Skype to interview a doctor in a Third World country about his experiences. Other guest speakers include former Peace Corps volunteers, a School Board member, a former presidential press secretary and former U.S. Department of State staff stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Mali.”
Parent Amy Curran commented on Rodgers’ dynamic teaching style.
“She leads discussions within the classroom that evoke conversations to open the minds of her students. She encourages the students to listen to other viewpoints and relates this back to current and past events. She will take the time to listen and provide thoughtful feedback. I see her working long hours before and after school with students inside and outside of her classroom.”
Mike and Wendy Edwards wrote that Rodgers’ teaching – in and beyond the classroom –had a positive effect on all three of their children, who have taken part in Global Ambassadors and International Youth Leadership Summit.
“We now have friends in Poland, Germany, Korea and South Africa. Not only do you meet new friends from around the world, but you also meet new friends in your own community. It is a beautiful and special opportunity that Ms. Rodgers has shared with the students at Dominion.”
Kate Gorbach, a 2012 Dominion graduate, wrote of the personal investment Rodgers made in her. “I applied for many scholarships based on government and politics. She helped craft my arguments through her own personal time (and explained) concepts and played the other side of arguments. She helped prepare me for interviews. I specifically remember she helped me memorize the cabinet secretaries for the test portion of an internship interview…
“She gives this same care to all her students. It doesn’t seem humanly possible until you witness Mrs. Rodgers in action. Not only does she give that care and personal investment to each of her everyday Dominion students, she cared and meticulously planned for the international students. Her reach and fine example knows no borders.”
Amir Azadniv, a 2017 Dominion graduate, wrote that Rodgers’ positive attitude took his learning to a new level. “I was a good student. I completed all of my work on time and put forth my best effort. However, I never really enjoyed learning. That was until I took Mrs. Rodgers’ AP Government class. I had some interest in the subject, but it was really Mrs. Rodgers’ upbeat attitude and excitement to teach that boosted my want to learn more about our government and how it compared to…systems around the world.”
A nomination from the Hollister family summed up what many wrote about Rodgers: “The world is an amazing place and we are very thankful to have Jennifer Rodgers as its number one ambassador.”
Rodgers is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in government. She is currently pursuing a master’s in political science from American Public University.
Before coming to Dominion, Rodgers was a teacher at H.D. Woodson High School’s Business and Finance Academy in Washington, D.C.