Jon Magnus has been named North Central ESD Regional Teacher of the Year for 2017/2018. As a regional winner he will be in the running for Washington State Teacher of the Year, an honor that will be announced in September 2017. Jon is a French instructor at Wenatchee School, a position he’s held since 2000.
“Jon Magnus is the ultimate professional in education. He is passionate about education, inspirational to others and has tremendous academic success,” wrote WHS Dean of Students BJ Kuntz in Jon’s nomination. “Jon has earned the respect of all that have had the opportunity to engage with him as a person and professional. He humbly comes to school each day with a single purpose to work tirelessly to inspire others toward a lifelong learning and pursuing your best self. In my 25 years of education, I have not encountered a better candidate for Washington State Teacher of the Year.”
“It is a great honor and privilege to be named teacher of the year,” Jon says. “I am happy to accept this title on behalf of all dedicated educators who strive daily to meet the needs of our learners. Connecting students to the world around them is one of my highest priorities.”
Jon connects his students to the world in the classroom and through community service. In the classroom Jon uses technology to explore world issues. They study current events in French newspapers, travel the streets of France with Google Earth, and listen to the latest French music on YouTube. “Students find this infinitely more interesting than reading a textbook,” says Jon.
He founded Interact club, a youth version of Rotary Club. The club’s accomplishments are impressive, including raising $5,000 for the computer needs of a non-sighted WHS student, raising $5,000 for a Heifer International Ark, raising $10,000 to bring a suicide-prevention program to Wenatchee and raising $22,000 to build a women’s clinic in Gouana, Mali. They have currently raised $37,000 of $50,000 to fund a local Habitat for Humanity home that they will eventually help to build.
“Our job is one of tremendous responsibility,” adds Jon, “to prepare students to lead productive and successful lives in a world that is increasingly interdependent. As an international language teacher, I consistently strive to prepare my students to be productive global citizens.”
The nine Educational Service Districts (ESDs) in Washington participate in the state Teacher of the Year program. The State Teacher of the Year receives special trainings in Huntsville, Alabama and three days in Washington D.C. participating in the National Teacher’s Forum sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Teacher of the Year is honored in ceremonies at the White House, Washington D.C., and a one-year sabbatical that enables her/him to serve as a spokesperson for all teachers and educators across the nation.