She is able to light dreams of learning, in all of her students. The passion that motivates her as an educator connects to the children she teaches, in a way that is remarkable and inspiring. Through her career she has had a positive impact on thousands of young people. Every child matters. Each one’s story, important. Her believe of each student’s value, unstoppable. Through her eyes, all children are amazing. As a teacher, she is energetic and hardworking, pushing herself to be the best, each and every day. Some people enter education unsure of the course. Others chart a path filled with impact and excellence. Jenaya Webster is one of those teachers who has blazed a path filled with dedication, creativity, and unwavering commitment to being an educator. She is that one. The one who does it all, so well, and never lets others know the challenges she faces. I’m going to add to this nomination with a story of my own. Imagine, the last day of school in June. It is sunny, yes, sunny. Standing in the parking lot, waiting for a grandchild who bursts out of Cherry Valley sobbing. Tears running down her face. Breathing heavily. At first, I’m alarmed she has been hurt. And she had but not physically. Her little heart was breaking, as she faced the reality of saying goodbye to a teacher who had helped her find a love of learning and a hope for the future through an uncertain time. Before I could even react, that teacher, Mrs. Webster was down on one knee, her arm around the child, gently offering comfort and support. It was a moment. A beautiful and unforgettable glimpse of a talented educator. Later, after loading in the car and heading down the road, the tears didn’t stop. Her young brother pipes up “Why is she crying like a baby?” Which only made her let out a howl, even louder. We pulled over and had a conversation about what it means to connect with a special person and how that bond will always be something to cherish. We all cried. We all laughed. And I knew I would always remember the wonderful teacher who had given her heart and mind to someone I loved. It should be clear to all, why Mrs. Webster is a Big Sky, Bright Lights Educator Honoree for 2023.
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