Mrs. Jessica Lynn Varner at Section High School teaches her fifth graders science, history, and math. But the most important thing she teaches them is to be kind.
“We have open discussions about it,” explains Jessica Lynn Varner, the Valley’s Top Teacher. “Choosing kind, and you know the golden rule, treat someone how you want to be treated.”
Her kids say she leads by example, and always treats them with love and respect.
“She asks our opinion for some stuff, and some teachers don’t do that,” says Cadley Loudermilk, a fifth grade student. “I just know she cares about us because of the way she acts around us.”
Mrs. Varner has been teaching in Jackson County for ten years. If you look around her room you will see inspirational quotes and couches. This is because she wants to create a comfortable, positive, and safe environment for her kids.
“She is really nice, so she makes me feel comfortable like I am at home,” smiles Lluvia Soria, a fifth grader.
“I decided that whenever I am working on something, I don’t ever sit at my kitchen table,” shares Mrs. Varner. “I am usually curled up on my couch or sitting in bed grading papers, and so I thought, well, I want to pull that into my classroom.”
Mrs. Varner says teaching is not just a 7:30 to 3:00 job. She goes above and beyond because of the love she has for her students and her community.
“It is out in the community, at the grocery store, it is at the concession stands, it’s at the football games, it is everywhere,” says Mrs. Varner.
Mrs. Varner says putting in that extra time and care always pays off.
“Whenever you see that kid in your classroom that is having a hard time hug you, when you see that kid in your classroom have that ‘aha moment’ of ‘Oh I get it, I understand’, or you see a kid out in public and they run up and give you a hug,” smiles Mrs. Varner.
She constantly encourages her students to be themselves and to do their best. She says it is all about her kids.
“I love to cut up and laugh with them,” laughs Mrs. Varner. “You know, the true rockstars in our classroom are the kids.”
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