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Jerde Named Grand Forks Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year

News Release                                                  

For Immediate Release                                                               

April 19, 2021

Jerde Named Grand Forks Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Shari Jerde, a business education teacher and family and consumer sciences teacher at Community High School, has been selected as Grand Forks Public Schools’ 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year.

Jerde re-joined the staff at Community High School in the fall of 2016 and has made an indelible mark on her students and colleagues.

Jerde began her career with Grand Forks Public Schools, serving as an adult education instructor from 1999-2003. From January 1999-May 2008, Jerde served as a resident teacher in special education and taught business education classes at Community High School. She then spent several years at Central Valley (Griggs-Steele-Traill Multidistrict Education Services) and Bottineau Public Schools before coming back to Community High School in August 2016.

Jerde also served as a graduate teaching assistant and lecturer in information systems and business education at the University of North Dakota for nearly six years.

In her nomination, Marilyn Ripplinger (counselor, Community High School) wrote, “Honest, hardworking and organized are three words I would choose to describe Shari. She is often the first to arrive at work and the last to leave, spending those hours developing modified curriculum, planning, and meeting with teachers to discuss student needs. Shari is a true professional and prioritizes communication with all stakeholders involved in the educational process. She is always going the extra mile and putting others before herself. Shari develops meaningful relationships which allow her to get the most from her students. She is approachable, reasonable, and flexible, placing student concerns above the content. She definitely contributes in a big way to the culture of respect and success at Community High School.”

In August 2020, Jerde was selected to receive the Carl Perkins Community Service Award from the North Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education (NDACTE). The award recognizes individuals who have used CTE to make a significant impact on their community and demonstrated leadership in programs and activities that promote student involvement in community service.

In fall 2019, Jerde worked with her fashion design students and spearheaded a project to design, develop, fabricate, and install custom-built adaptive Halloween costumes for two students who use wheelchairs within the school system. The result was a Cinderella-themed carriage with lights and a Star Wars TIE Fighter.

In her nomination, colleague Eileen Zygarlicke (English teacher, Community High School) wrote, “Shari has collaborated on many occasions with different curricula areas to create learning experiences for our student population. She engages her students with meaningful, real-life experiences in her classroom. One of her co-curricular projects was opening a ‘restaurant’ in conjunction with English, art, and math classes. Shari collaborates with families by inviting them into the education process. She reaches out to parents/guardians with positive comments about their teen, laying a foundation of communication. If problems arise, she has an already-established relationship and together they work to help the student.”

Jerde supervises a Cooperative Work Experience program in the summer, where students utilize their classroom skills while being employed in a variety of community businesses. Jerde has also completed Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training and is part of the Sources of Strength program at Community High School.

Jerde holds an associate’s degree in applied science from North Dakota State University-Bottineau, a bachelor’s degree in business education from Minot State University, a master’s degree in career and technical education and a master’s degree in special education, both from the University of North Dakota.

Jerde’s name and information have been submitted to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction for consideration as a 2021 North Dakota County Teacher of the Year and 2021 North Dakota Teacher of the Year.

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