By Kim Johnson

GOLDEN VALLEY (WCCO) — Every week on WCCO we ask for your Excellent Educator nominations. Sometimes we get them from co-workers or from parents of students. But this week, a first grader wanted us to know about her teacher.

“She deserves this award because she is kind, helpful, caring and makes sure that everyone is safe. She is fair and confident and I like that,” Taylor Shoars said.

Shoars says Ms. Jenny Bennett at Breck School in Golden Valley teaches her lessons she uses inside and outside of class. She helped WCCO surprise her teacher with an Excellent Educator award.

“Taylor, why did you want Ms. Bennet to have this award,” WCCO’s Kim Johnson asked.

“Because you’ve been so good to me,” Taylor told Ms. Bennett.

Although Ms. Bennett is the first teacher in her family in generations, she says it’s always been a part of her.

“I was one of those kids who I knew I wanted to do this since I was a kid. I played school in my basement. I took care of kids in my neighborhood, so for me it’s about the kids,” she said.

That natural calling may be behind Bennett’s natural ability to get life lessons to stick — especially when the kids are having conflicts with friends.

Parents appreciate the lesson, too.

“I think as a parent of a young daughter, your natural tendency is to get involved and fix things for your kids or her and her girlfriends and Ms. Bennet sounds like she wants them to solve their own problems,” Lynne Shoars, Taylor Shoars’s mom, said.

For Bennett, knowing she’s making a difference in her students’ lives is the best compliment.

“That is my biggest hope as a teacher is it’s not just about what happens in these walls, but it’s something they’ll have forever,” she said.


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