Saginaw educator didn’t wake up this morning expecting praise from Oprah, but …

SAGINAW, MI — If Mrs. Vosler could see her now.

When Jenna O’Driscoll received countrywide recognition as a K-12 educator during a Thursday, April 21, assembly at the Merrill Park Elementary University campus wherever she serves as principal, the 36-calendar year-outdated Indiantown native could not assist but believe about the instructors who encouraged her to sign up for the occupation.

“I can assume of a person in particular, in high school — Mrs. Vosler — who truly created an perception on me,” O’Driscoll explained of the late Mary LouAnn Vosler, a beloved longtime Reese Higher Faculty trainer who died in 2015. “She bought me actually interested in world historical past, in German, and received me interested in joining college student council. From there, I knew I wanted to get the job done with young children, and in this article I am.”

Exactly where O’Driscoll was on Thursday early morning: Seemingly leading a faculty assembly to introduce her learners and employees to leaders from the Michigan Division of Education and Saginaw Community Colleges. Unidentified to her, nevertheless, the gathering was in simple fact a celebration of her operate as an educator. Even Oprah Winfrey supplied praise, albeit by way of video clip recording.

O’Driscoll realized she was one of 60 of her peers in the U.S. this year to receive the Milken Educator Award, and the initial-at any time recipient in her faculty district selected since the honor was recognized in 1987. Together with a $25,000 cash prize, the award earns her an invitation to Los Angeles in June to the Milken Spouse and children Foundation’s yearly convention that assembles major academics and university administrators from throughout the nation.

Greg Gallagher, an formal with the Milken Household Basis, informed O’Driscoll with the help of her pupils in the Merrill Park Elementary auditorium.

Right before the significant expose, he established a sequence of papers on the floor, and questioned for six university student volunteers — from a group of about 250 kids — to hold the papers in the air. Each and every piece spelled out “$25,000.” Gallagher told the viewers about the Milken Educator Award and its income prize in advance of revealing O’Driscoll as the recipient. Pupils, personnel and attendees erupted in applause. O’Driscoll appeared stunned.

“I definitely had no plan,” she mentioned when Gallagher handed her a microphone. “I seriously was imagining of all the great lecturers who this could have been for.”

Gallagher mentioned Milken Family members Basis associates seek out and decide on award recipients, who do not apply for the honor.

O’Driscoll accepted the award in front of Michael Rice, state superintendent with Michigan’s Section of Education state Rep. Amos O’Neal, who represents the mid-Michigan region as very well as Ramont Roberts and Charles Coleman, the Saginaw Community Universities superintendent and Board of Training president, respectively.

O’Driscoll also was a little bit star-struck right after studying Oprah recorded a congratulatory video clip for Milken Educator Award recipients.

“I simply cannot consider this,” O’Driscoll stated. “Are you significant. No way.”

This educational 12 months, O’Driscoll was employed as principal at Merrill Park Elementary, a university in southwest Saginaw with a college student populace of pretty much 300 small children in kindergarten by means of sixth quality.

She commenced as an educator in Saginaw Public Colleges in 2010 as a substitute instructor. From 2013-21, she was a 2nd-grade trainer at Jessie Loomis Elementary School.

“O’Driscoll experienced a marriage with most of the students in the developing, and teachers from other grade stages usually sent her pupils who wanted additional help or a listening ear,” browse a assertion from Milken Educator Award organizers, describing why she was a receiver.

“In her very own classroom, O’Driscoll prepared revolutionary, engaging lessons and pursuits that included cooperative discovering techniques, adaptable grouping and knowledge-pushed interventions to deal with finding out gaps. Her college students thrived as a result, continuously delivering some of the district’s optimum expansion on looking at and math assessments.”

Rice explained her as “a product educator” who exemplified the ideal characteristics of Michigan public educational institutions educators.

“She is devoted to her learners, community, and fellow-educators, and has created a job by aiding small children develop academically and driving enhancements in the educating of math, looking at and science,” Rice explained. “(O’Driscoll) is a happy Michigan educator who signifies how a fulfilling vocation in teaching can increase the life of younger men and women and have a beneficial influence on our world.”

O’Driscoll been given both a 2009 bachelor’s diploma in elementary schooling and a 2018 master’s degree in educational management from Saginaw Valley Condition University.

In 2003, she graduated from Reese Large School, exactly where the seeds of her future as an educator had been nurtured by her preferred trainer.

“Mrs. Vosler would be really happy of me right now,” O’Driscoll mentioned shortly just after acquiring the Milken Educator Award.


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