Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teacher's Ongoing Education Is Used to Boost Students Hilliard: Extra Hours Part of Willing Trade

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teacher's Ongoing Education Is Used to Boost Students Hilliard: Extra Hours Part of Willing Trade

Article excerpt

Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

Words are taped to the windows of Jacqueline Carver's fifth-grade classroom at Hilliard Elementary School.

Haggard, bilious, philomath.

But the words aren't there for her students, Carver said. They are there to help her improve her own vocabulary.

Four more words can now be taped to that window: Teacher of the Year. Carver, 29, has won that honor for 2002.

Carver's boss, Hilliard Elementary Principal Linda Morris, wasn't surprised.

"She's phenomenal," Morris said.

Personal commitment, natural talent and a love for teaching all make Carver an exceptional teacher, Morris said. That love leads Carver to go above and beyond the call of duty, both for her students and her school, Morris said.

"You can't learn to love. Either you do, or you don't," Morris said. "If you do, you don't begrudge the demands it puts upon you."

Carver, a Hilliard native, began her teaching career in January 1998 as a substitute after earning her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

She learned to love teaching by watching her mother, Barbara Lewis, who spent 30 years teaching in Nassau County.

"I saw what she did, the creativity she had, how she took her work home," Carver said. "It was just a way of life."

In August 1998, she joined the staff of Hilliard Elementary School as a fifth-grade teacher. That same school year, she was named the district's First-Year Teacher of the Year.

She now is pursing a master's degree at UNF, where she has a 4.0 grade-point average.

For Carver, being a teacher also is about being a learner.

"I think a teacher is someone who shows by example that learning is a never-ending process," Carver said.

That's why the vocabulary she's trying to learn is taped to the windows. …

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