By Jason Schmucker
One teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School got quite a surprise on Monday morning.
During a morning assembly, fourth-grade teacher Jill Good was informed that she was one of Fox 9’s Top Teacher’s for 2017.
“Fox 9 does what we call the Fox 9 Top Teachers every year,” said Fox 9 meteorologist Cody Matz, who presented Good with the award. “We haven’t had a Fox 9 Top Teacher in this area until right now. This is the 15th year that we have been doing this. We receive hundreds and hundreds of nominations, and we award nine teachers with our special award.”
Matz described Good and her credentials to the crowd before revealing her identity.
“This teacher researched how students learn best and designed a class to help students learn to read and enjoy it,” Matz said. “This teacher encourages hands-on learning through a variety of projects. (She) also tailors her lessons to highlight the various gifts and talents of each individual student.”
“Wow, this is really a big surprise,” Good said. “This is really a great honor. I love this school – everything about it. We do a lot for the kids here.”
St. Joseph principal Bruce Richards said that Good was nominated by the family of a student.
“Mrs. Good was nominated by one of the parents of a student in her class, Mrs. Opal Ehalt,” Richards said.
Richards noted that the nomination carried extra weight, as Ehalt is herself an educator.
“Mrs. Ehalt is a passionate educator who works in the Minneapolis School District. She works to help educators in her district achieve excellence and she has a keen eye for greatness and thankfully she took time to recognize that in Mrs. Good,” Richards said. “We are thankful that she took time to nominate Mrs. Good for this fantastic award.”
Richards said that keeping Good’s nomination and award secret was a challenge. In fact, during the ceremony, it was revealed that Good had initially planned to come into work late due to an orthodontist appointment, but was told that she had to be at the assembly.
“There were only a few people that were made aware of her award prior to the presentation. Fr. Bennet (Tran) and our administrative staff kept a tight lid on it so that it would be a surprise for her and for our whole school community,” Richards said. “It was great to see the excitement on the students’ faces and to see Mrs. Good, who is incredibly humble and very deserving of the award, react with such surprise.”
Richards said that Good was more than deserving of the award.
“Her heart and her soul live here, and she gives everything she has to her students,” he said. “She develops strong relationships with her students and families and that is a difference maker. There is an old saying, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ This quote personifies Mrs. Good and her style of teaching.”
Richards said that while Good received the award, it impacts the entire school.
“This recognition affirms the hard work that we all do, the whole faculty embraced Jill’s nomination and her award, she is very deserving and we are all thrilled that she is being recognized for being an impactful educator. I think this award brings a sense of pride and honor to our whole school,” Richards said. “Anytime we can recognize the great work that people in our community do, it makes us all shine and helps our community sparkle.”
As a Fox 9 Top Teacher, Good will receive $900 from Royal Credit Union for classroom supplies, a Subway sandwich party for 50 friends and a Top Teacher award.