School Superintendent Art Johnson surprised Jeff Fessler in class on Thursday, April 8, with the announcement that he is The School District of Palm Beach County-Macy’s Teacher of the Year. Mr. Fessler teaches reading, social studies and writing at U. B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School of the Arts, where he is the grade 4 team leader. Adrienne Howard, Principal, said, “His students’ FCAT reading scores surpass the district and state averages.” Ms. Howard further noted that, “Jeff has taken a leadership role in promoting arts integration by presenting professional development, modeling cutting-edge techniques in his classroom, and working with the Norton Museum of Art to create units of study for teachers throughout the district.”
Mr. Fessler, a resident of West Palm Beach, has fourteen years of experience as an educator, six of which are at U. B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School of the Arts. Jeff holds National Board Certification and he is highly sought after as a workshop facilitator. He was selected as a presenter for the National Art Educators Association Annual Conference held in New York City in 2007. For his powerful and innovative instruction, Mr. Fessler received the Humane Society of the United States Teacher of the Year Award in 2008 and the same year was awarded the local William Dwyer Award for Excellence in Elementary Education. In 2009, Mr. Fessler was selected as the Palm Beach County Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year. Recently, the Palm Beach County Cultural Council presented the 2010 Muse Award for Arts Educator of the Year to Jeff Fessler.
Mr. Fessler’s passion for teaching is demonstrated by the innovative ways that he motivates and involves his students. He provides opportunities for his students to participate in projects in collaboration with local arts organizations such as the Educational Gallery Group, the Flagler Museum, and the Blue Planet Writer’s Room. Many of his projects teach the students the value of community service, as demonstrated by the PSAs developed for the local animal shelter and the Humane Society of the United States.
Mr. Fessler will be honored on May 6 at the school district Employees of the Year Breakfast. At that time, he will be awarded $1000.00 from the School District of Palm Beach County. Funding for the school district award is provided by local business partners. As a District Teacher of the Year, Jeff Fessler will also receive a cash award of $1000.00 from Macy’s (of which $250 will go to U. B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School of the Arts).
In July, Mr. Fessler will be invited to participate in the Florida Department of Education-Macy’s Teacher of the Year gala awards celebration. This event is held in conjunction with the Florida Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Roundtable. The Roundtable affords Teachers of the Year the opportunity to network with colleagues, share ideas, and provide input on educational issues of state and national importance.