Jessica Venhaus is a first-grade teacher at Northwest Early Elementary School.
She’s also an optimist. Ask her to explain why she would name her autobiography “Just Wait for the Encore!” and you’ll understand that point very quickly.
“I feel like the best is yet to come!” Venhaus said. “Especially when it comes to teaching at Northwest. I am only on my third year and I look forward to the rest of my journey within this school district.”
Venhaus takes that same optimistic approach to her students. Her advice to students who might be struggling in school is to keep working to make the future as bright as possible.
“We all learn in different ways and at different times,” she said. “Do not focus on what you cannot do yet, but focus on what you can do and grow from there. Learning is a journey towards a path of discovery, and your teachers, coaches and other school staff are here to help you along the way.”
For her efforts, Venhaus earned a Northwest Schools 2019-20 Professional Educator Award. That award goes to a highly effective educator who has shown truly outstanding results in student achievement. She has taken what it means to be a professional teacher by implementing best practices and in turn has produced positive academic results. She knows her content inside and out but, more importantly, understands the learning process and how to teach by engaging students’ higher level thinking skills.
Venhaus is relatively new to NWEE, but she does have a dozen years of experience in education. A career in education has been the plan all along. Ask her, “Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?” and you’ll get a straightforward answer.
“Who I am now,” she said matter-of-factly. “A teacher who loves her job and looks forward to making a difference each and every day in the lives of her students.”
Here are five more things to know about Jessica Venhaus:
If you could learn to do anything what would it be?
“I would learn how to play the guitar. I love incorporating music into my lessons. In my opinion, applying music to content helps the students better remember the material and gives them a fun jingle to dance to.”
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
“I would get out my bucket list and start checking things off one by one. I want to make sure that I live my life to the fullest and make as many memories as possible.”
How do you define success?
“Success to me is defined as achieving your own personal goals, set by you, allowing you to live the life you truly want.”
What three traits define you?
Energetic, caring and patient.
Is there a defining moment -- an event or an interaction with a student -- during your time at Northwest that you would be willing to share?
“There are many great moments that have made my teaching experience memorable, but making those connections with students is by far what I would consider to be most defining. Every time I connect with a student is a new opportunity for me to make a difference.”