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Teacher of the Year Spotlight: Jeff Kennedy
You are invited to a reception and ceremony recognizing our 2018-2019 Site Teachers of the Year at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 13 at the Union Performing Arts Center. Union will also announce its District Teacher of the Year. Being named Teacher of the Year is one of the highest honors a teacher can receive at Union.
Originally posted February 12, 2019
Math teacher Jeff Kennedy was named the Union Alternative Schools of the Year.
Kennedy came to Union in the fall of 2001 and he has been with Union ever since.
“To be honest, I applied to Union, Broken Arrow and Jenks, but Union was the first district to offer me a teaching position at a high school level,” he said, and it’s decision he has not regretted,
Kennedy decided to become a teacher as the new millennium was beginning. “It was back in early 2000, after doing all of the jobs that I wanted to do, I figured that I had obtained enough life experiences and real world mathematics applications to bring to a high school classroom,” he said.
His favorite subject to teach is geometry.
“When constructing anything (especially homes), there is a large amount of analysis involved along with many of the concepts from geometry directly relating to the building of homes,” he said.
Working with Alternative students is a joy he said, although there challenge, one of which is dealing with the diverse background his students have.
“Due to the very nature of Alt Ed, many students lack certain math concepts when they first come here,” Kennedy said “and it’s important to get them up to speed as quickly as possible, since our classes contain a mixture of different performance levels, so that we can move them forward to the next mathematical demands. I use online resources, math software provided by Union, traditional teaching presentations, handouts, real life examples and some hands on projects.”
Kennedy hopes to continue being a teacher at Union in the future.
“As long as I feel that I am highly effective at being a teacher, I will probably continue along this path with Union,” he said. “As my dad used to say, better to leave while you’re at your optimal performance, than to be less effective and hang around longer than you should.”
Kennedy graduated with a bachelor’s in mathematics with concentrations in abstract algebra, game theory and teaching from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, California.