Jennifer Goldner

Jennifer Goldner

Jennifer Goldner, recipient of the Medal for Excellence in Elementary Teaching, teaches fifth grade science at Jay Upper Elementary School.

Goldner grew up in the Jay area and has taught at the school since 1998, but she’s traveled many miles to learn and share her knowledge. She’s attended the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy and Advanced Space Academy, and she studied aboard the Oregon II as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Teacher at Sea.

From 2014-17, she gave presentations across the country as the United States Honeywell Space Academy Ambassador. She’s now a consultant for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in support of the Teacher at Sea Program. Goldner has trained teachers in Ecuador and Belize, and she’s instructed educators in the Great Expectations professional development program for more than 20 years.

In her classroom, Goldner focuses on meeting each student’s learning style.

“In my teaching career, I have had all these things in my classroom in an effort to help different students learn to the best of their abilities: a treadmill, a stationary bicycle, balance boards, bouncy balls, fidgets, shades over the lights, and a microphone system,” she said. “I am willing and excited to try anything if it will help a student learn.”

She attributes much of her success to the power of a question.

“So how do I get to know each and every one of my students?” Goldner said. “The answer is simple: I ask them questions and lots of them. This year I have 111 students, so the challenge is daunting for me, but I take it seriously.”

Former student Gavin Raye Tate says Goldner sparked an interest in pursuing a career in science after he graduates.

“In Ms. Goldner’s class, I found my love for science,” Tate said. “It was her passion that inspired me to dig deeper into the fundamental questions of why things happen the way they do, which is, in my opinion, science. I love participating in lab experiments and collecting data, and it was Ms. Goldner who taught me how to do those things.”

Jennifer Goldner, 2024 Medal for Excellence recipient, teaches fifth-grade science at Jay Upper Elementary School.