Monday, October 2, 2023
FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Indiana Department of Education today announced that Eric Jenkins, an English teacher at Franklin Community High School, has been named the 2024 Indiana Teacher of the Year.
“Part of what makes teachers so impactful is their ability to help students develop the knowledge and skills they need to find their voice and make positive change in the world around them. This is something Mr. Jenkins takes very seriously,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Not only does he help students strengthen their essential reading, writing and speaking skills, but he also prioritizes learning opportunities that help students grow their confidence, work as a team and form their own opinions…helping them to become the best versions of themselves. Mr. Jenkins is leaving his mark on this world, from Nigeria to Alabama to New York, and we are grateful that he chose to share his passion and talents right here in Indiana.”
Jenkins teaches tenth grade honors/general English/language arts, as well as Indiana University’s Advanced College Project (ACP) Composition Course W131. Now in his thirteenth year of teaching, Jenkins began his career at the American Christian Academy in Ibadan, Nigeria in 2007, and moved back to the U.S. in 2008 to teach in Trussville, Alabama.
An Indiana native, Jenkins returned to central Indiana after receiving a Master of Science in Literacy from the State University of New York in 2013 to teach at Franklin Community High School. In addition to the completion of his Master’s work, Jenkins has a Master’s certificate in High Ability Education, and pursued additional training in order to strengthen his classroom instruction and teach W131 for dual credit.
“Eric is a selfless educator and a consummate professional. He is constantly looking for ways to grow in order to impact student learning,” said Franklin Community High School Principal Steven Ahaus. “He values his colleagues and the power of collaboration in education. The great ones make the challenging tasks look easy, and Eric makes creating an amazing classroom environment look simple.”
With a passion for helping students become lifelong readers, Jenkins is dedicated to crafting lessons that challenge all students to develop personally and creatively. Through small group instruction and experiential learning, he creates a classroom environment where students are empowered to take ownership of their learning, and can collaborate while developing interpersonal skills.
“Eric is the epitome of a great teacher. He is passionate about growing students and allowing them to reach their full potential,” said Franklin Community Schools Superintendent Dr. David Clendening. “This passion drives him to find instructional practices that will engage students and make the wonder of learning come alive. The students at Franklin Community High School are blessed to have a rockstar in this profession to help increase their knowledge and understanding.”
As Indiana Teacher of the Year, Jenkins will work to help elevate the teaching profession in Indiana, as well as represent Hoosier teachers at the national level.
For over 60 years, the Indiana Teacher of the Year Program has worked to inspire, rejuvenate and celebrate the teaching profession by recognizing outstanding teachers from across the state. The program encourages schools to nominate their local Teachers of the Year for this statewide honor. Finalists are selected from these applicants by a committee made up of former Teachers of the Year, IDOE staff, educational organization leaders, business and community leaders and representatives from higher education.