Congratulations to Jennifer Blasko for being named Sorenson's Teacher of the Year based on her exemplary work in The Learning Center for the Deaf's (TLC) Career Technology Education program.
To announce their selection of Teacher of the Year, Sorenson produced a video highlighting Jennifer and her work at The Learning Center for the Deaf.
Sorenson 2014 Teacher of the Year Video
Jennifer has been a member of the Career Technology Education Department since 2008 and in 2011 became chair of the department. She has worked very closely with the Transition Office and National Transition Organizations to keep up with national trends, laws, and requirements of the Department of Education. Jennifer is passionate about giving her students as many work opportunities and skills as she can. As a business owner, she understands the skills needed to operate a successful business and has given the students several opportunities to create and sell their products to experience another side of the business. She is a talented jewelry maker, graphic designer and artist, in addition to be a dedicated and skilled teacher.
Jennifer has attended national conferences in Minnesota, New York and Louisiana to learn more about transition and how to best meet the needs of students at The Learning Center for the Deaf. She also presented at the MAAPS (Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools) Conference in 2012 on the topic of transition. She is a member of Massachusett's Deaf Transition Summit Group and has presented as part of an assessment team at our triennial meetings.
Jennifer works directly with students in the classroom. She incorporates technology, visual supports and field experience to give students the best work experience possible. She also works in conjunction with the Transition Office at The Learning Center for the Deaf to provide students with assessments to evaluate their work readiness and career interests. Jennifer is particularly adept at working with Deaf students with additional special needs. She has a nice manner and demonstrates patience and encouragement for each individual student. She looks for their strengths and praises students willingly and often for their accomplishments. The students enjoy working with Jennifer and are excited to attend her classes.
Jennifer often attends IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) meetings to explain how the students are functioning in the shop and on campus (if they have a work experience). She is always seeking additional opportunities for the students. She oversees the Driver's Ed Program and the School of Fish's Culinary Arts After School Program.
Jennifer is a passionate educator who wants the best for all of her students. She wants them to be successful as they transition from high school to the world of work. She provides her students as many opportunities as possible to expand her skill base.
After learning she was being recognized as Sorenson's Teacher of the Year, Jennifer commented, "I didn't know I was nominated, but this award was not possible without the work we do as a team in trying to better prepare and serve our students for their future careers after they graduate. I am honored to have been chosen and, at same time, proud of the work we have done to get to this place where we will be nationally recognized for improving student's lives and opportunities after they moved through our program. So grateful!"