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Education grad gets national teaching award

Posted on July 18th, 2009

Jolene Kratz, EMU alum
Jolene Kratz, 2008 EMU grad

Jolene Kratz, who has completed her first year of teaching in the Rockingham County Public School System, has been selected to attend the 2009 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, a five-day professional development program for third- through fifth-grade educators.

Ms. Kratz is a fifth grade teacher at Cub Run Elementary School in Penn Laird. She is a 2008 elementary education graduate of Eastern Mennonite University.

“This award is definitely a huge honor, especially since I am just a first year teacher, and I believe that my EMU education aided me in being chosen,” said Kratz.

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy, partnered with ExxonMobil to create the academy to give teachers the opportunity to enhance their mathematics and science teaching skills and to discover new ways to motivate their students in these areas.

Invitations to attend the Academy are extended to selected school districts, which then nominate between five to 10 educators to represent their district. In addition, teachers can also be nominated for one of 100 open seats.

In late July Kratz will travel to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J., to participate in the all-expenses-paid professional program. She will join 600 third- through fifth-grade teachers from school districts across the country.

Lori H. Leaman, associate professor of education at EMU and a former professor of Kratz’s, remembers having her in class.

“I was delighted to watch Jolene teach during her elementary science methods course at EMU,” Dr. Leaman said. “Her insights and questions indicated that she was committed to doing what is needed to ensure that students develop a passion for learning, not just ‘go through the motions.’

“The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teaching Award is an honor that we believe is symbolic of what we are all about in teacher education here at EMU,” Leaman added.

“EMU gave me the confidence I needed to deal with the struggles of the first years of teaching, and I definitely felt prepared to be on my own,” Kratz stated.

Kratz was a center on the EMU Lady Royals basketball team all four years. She is from Telford, Pa., and a 2004 graduate of Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, Lansdale, Pa.

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