Jody Deacon Named Teacher of the Year

By Lura Jackson

 

Every now and then a teacher in Washington County is recognized throughout the state for the dedication and sincerity that they approach their honorable trade with. Such a distinction has occurred once again with the naming of Princeton Elementary School teacher Jody Deacon as elementary school Teacher of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

Deacon, who grew up in Bailevyille, has been a teacher for the past 37 years at Princeton Elementary. Originally, she taught third grade for ten years, then she moved into the second grade for thirteen years. For the next six years, she taught a combined first and second grade, and for the past six and a half years, she has taught first grade. 

While acknowledging that she herself has been blessed with terrific teachers in various settings, Deacon specifically credits her third grade teacher Joan Ketchen with inspiring her to become a teacher. Her desire to do so was, in turn, supported without hesitation by her family. After graduating from Woodland High School, she went on to earn her degree at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Once she became a teacher, Deacon found her continuing inspiration with the students themselves. “I love learning and I love working with students as they learn and grow,” Deacon said. She emphasized that she learns from her students on a regular basis, and she encourages them to share their knowledge with her to continue the flow of information. “It’s inspiring to see students of all ages get excited about learning and take off following their own interests and dreams.” Seeing how students adapt to their personal challenges is a continuing inspiration, particularly when it motivates them to find their own strengths. “It is the students, with their sense of wonder and discovery, that make teaching worthwhile,” Deacon said.

Deacon’s enthusiasm for her work were among the traits that earned her a nomination for the state Teacher of the Year award. As a result of winning the statewide award, Deacon will be eligible for consideration at the national level.