Nicki Jurgens

Position: Kindergarten and Special Education Teacher School: Henry Elementary School

School District: Henry School District

City, State: Henry, South Dakota

About the Nominee: Nicki Jurgens was nominated by Henry High School principal, Philip Schonebaum.

Nicki Jurgens is one of the most dedicated teachers! She works hard to impact the lives of all students, in and out of school. Ms. Jurgens has been teaching kindergarten and special education classes for the last thirty years and has been primarily kindergarten for the last decade.

This year, Ms. Jurgens was a "lifesaver" in her school district. The district had a teacher resign from the Special Education program in September 2015. Since it was late in the year, they had no one to replace her. Ms. Jurgens went to the administration and offered to take on the entire special education workload, working with the district's paraprofessionals to disseminate the curriculum. Her schedule was arranged to give her two blocks of times to work directly with the special education students that needed to get pulled out of the classroom. She spent countless hours getting to know her new special education students as well as educating her Kindergarten students.

Ms. Jurgens is one of the hardest working teachers one could ever encounter; she is constantly developing curriculum and changing her approach to education so her students can become the best students and people possible. She is the first to volunteer for organizations and extra work at her school, and has been known as "the rock" of Henry School District since the early 80's. Ms. Jurgens has taught many generations of youth and they all remember her classroom when their own children are in it. The day she decides to hang up her teaching career, it will be a sad day for the education world.

Ms. Jurgens has shaped generations of students and continues to inspire and demonstrate a strong work ethic within the entire Henry School District community.

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