New London elementary teacher earns regional recognition

New London – A New London elementary school teacher known for her dedication and knack for reaching her students has earned a national teacher of the year award.

Jennifer Dowker, a fifth-grade teacher at Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School, was recognized as the Magnet Schools of America National Region 1 Teacher of the Year. Region 1 covers Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

“Jennifer has a unique way of capturing the hearts of students and teachers with whom she works,” said Nathan Hale Principal Carlos Leal.

“She has a caring approach and high expectations,” he said. “There is no doubt that she and her approach to reaching students and families is a model within our profession. Her message of support, collaboration and purpose are sure to move other educators."

Dowker is in her third year of teaching at Nathan Hale and had already earned the New London Public Schools 2017-18 Teacher of the Year. She serves as the Higher Order Thinking Schools site coordinator, lead grant writer and producer of the after-school musical theatre program. Last school year, Dowker coordinated the school’s Renzulli enrichment program for second and third grades.

The school district on Monday issued a statement saying that Dowker passionately embodies what it is to be a magnet teacher of the year.

“Jenny is truly proud of the relationships she builds with her students and she is fully committed to helping them succeed,” the statement reads.

“Her plans take into account each and every one of her student’s strengths and potential,” the statement said. “She works tirelessly to ensure they have what they need in the classroom to be successful scholars. During after-school hours she attends recitals and sporting events and loves seeing her students succeed years after they’ve left her classroom.”


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