City Schools of Decatur names Decatur High’s Jenna Black teacher of the yearFrom left to right: School Board Chair Annie Caiola, Decatur High teacher Jenna Black and Superintendent David Dude
Jenna Black, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Decatur High, has worked in the classroom for 31 years.
According to City Schools of Decatur, she began teaching early childhood education and was part of opening the Frasier Center Lab School in 1991. She refers to the center as her “first born child.”
“My absolute favorite part of teaching is watching our little ones grow up and return to Decatur High School and the Frasier Center as my high school students,” Black said. “The icing on my cupcake is when those same students enter the teaching profession to give back to our community.”
Black has been named CSD’s teacher of the year for 2016.
CSD says, “Walk into the Frasier Center and you will see children happily playing and learning. Ms. Black provides a wonderful and safe learning environment for all children. Ask any of her students about her class and the first thing you notice is that their face lights up. They will tell you that they love Ms. Black and her class. Many of her students say they want to become teachers because of what they have learned from Ms. Black and the example she sets.
“Ms. Black’s passion for teaching and her impact is felt throughout all of CSD and the community. Many teachers in our district put their children in her caring hands during the school day allowing them to perform their jobs without worrying about their children.”
Black said the Frasier Center started as an initiative to keep teen parents in school and reduce the teen pregnancy rate at Decatur High.
“I believed that if we provided childcare, mentoring, and one on one case management to each teen parent that we could change lives and we did,” she said. “In 1996 we had 46 teen parents and today we have zero at the Frasier Center. Most importantly I was able to change lives.”
She said the center’s role changed. Now the center takes care of teachers’ children.
“I added a different role as a mentor to young parents and teachers throughout the school system,” she said. “It is hard to plan for your own classroom and to be the best teacher you can be when you are worried about your own child and how to balance work and home. I am passionate about making that transition as smooth as possible for CSD teachers. As an experienced teacher I am passionate about retaining and mentoring young teachers so they will remain in our profession.”