Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Friends and Neighbors: Jeri Revelle

 

Tonia Copeland

Jeri Revelle shares her award while standing in front of the American flag photo that once graced her grandmother's classroom.

A nomination made secretly and supported by several letters of recommendation led to the surprise recognition of one of Banner County's most beloved teachers – Jeri Revelle.

Revelle traveled, with many members of her family, to Kearney where she expected her daughter to be recognized and awarded.

"I was listening to the Music teacher of the Year award and I was thinking that teachers in small schools do a lot," she said. "Then they read the elementary award and I thought the same thing. Then they started reading mine, I kept thinking that we all do those things. Pretty soon I leaned over to the superintendent and I said, 'I do all that stuff.' and suddenly I knew it was my award."

Revelle, a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Banner County High School was awarded as the Nebraska Rural Community School Association's 2016-17 Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Born and raised in Banner County, Revelle was a member of the first Kindergarten class to attend school in the current building.

After graduating from the University of Wyoming with a Master's degree in education technology and Bachelor's degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with endorsements in middle and high school, Revelle moved home with her husband to take care of the family farm and begin her teaching career at Banner County High School.

She has gone beyond FCS and also teaches health and computer class in grades 5 through 10 and has had a hand in Junior High language arts, Junior High school choir and assisted in Junior High girl's athletics during her time at BCHS.

"I have wanted to be a teacher since first grade," she said. "I never changed my mind. I always wanted to be a teacher."

The ties to education run deep for Revelle; her grandmother was a teacher, her brother and sister-in-law are teachers, as are two of her children, a niece and a nephew.

"There has just been a lot of connections to education and it is something my parents valued, as my grandparents did," she said. "I can't pick one (influential educator)," she said. "I had really good mentor teachers, and then I had really great teachers, good administrators, good people to work with."

She said she had so many teachers who made a difference growing up and she strives to make the same difference to the students that walk the same halls today. The connections she makes with her students is as important to her as the subject matter that she teaches, Revelle said.

"Seeing kids be successful, whether it is a small success or achieving their goal, is the best thing about being a teacher," she said. "It is fun to watch them grow, become an adult and be successful – whatever that means for them."

Education has changed a lot throughout the years, and Revelle said that it is one career that never gets boring, particularly with the growing technological component and the challenges of standardized testing. In addition to the ever-evolving nature of education, each year she gets to learn how to teach to a whole new set of students.

"Times have changed. We are in a very different society with technology. The struggles in education grow more every day and none of us really understand how to handle all of them, we just work with it," she said. "We have maintained very well, maybe you can't see it as much on a state rubric, but our kids do what they do very well."

After 36 years, Revelle has decided that this will be her last year teaching, as she looks forward to spending more time with her family.

"It's going to be hard not having this my room and turning in my keys will be hard, but I know that it is time," she said.

Though they cannot replace their beloved Mrs. Revelle, the Banner County Wildcats welcome the new Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and Revelle looks forward to sharing strategies for things that are unique to her classroom.

"I am looking forward for somebody that is younger, fresher with new ideas and energy to come in," she said. "I really feel like this is my home and my school, but I am anxious for somebody to come in and add a new spark."

 

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