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International school teacher recognized as Educator of the Year

Jeremy Jacobsen, a teacher at Korea International School, teaches a design class. (KIS)
Jeremy Jacobsen, a teacher at Korea International School, teaches a design class. (KIS)
Four faculty members at Korea International School were recognized for their efforts and their dedication to the school district and community, the school announced Wednesday.

The Korea Overseas Council of Schools this month named design teacher Jeremy Jacobsen Educator of the Year. Three other KIS faculty members were nominated for the award, KIS said.

KORCOS is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization of educators from overseas currently located in Korea. For this year’s awards, its members and administrators nominated educators based on their abilities to create an inspirational environment and for their contributions to the community.

Nominations also went to educators who demonstrated dedication to education and set examples of teaching methods to meet the needs of students and their communities.

The selection committee was composed of executive board members and representatives from KORCOS member schools including KIS, Chadwick International, Seoul Foreign School and Seoul International School.

KIS’ Jacbosen, who is in his 21st year of teaching, was nominated by a number of students and school administrators for his passion and commitment to student agency, environmental education and scientific exploration.

He persistently interacted with students to create a friendly and effective learning environment while staying creative to help students better engage in learning experiences.

“Being spontaneous with the kids can lead to the best lessons. Changing things up can open kids to new questions. We keep things open,” Jacobsen said.

“The joy of being in the classroom keeps me teaching. I tell the kids all the time that they teach me. … I find out what students are interested in and ask them to tell me more.”

A mother of a first grade student at KIS, said her child is a big fan of Jacobsen and had fun in his class while gaining valuable lessons.

“Mr. J’s class is so much fun and he speaks so passionately about his animals that (my kid) is fascinated by them. He teaches the kids about the animals and how to take care of them in a very fun way and he ensures that all his students are involved,” she said.

Three more educators from KIS were nominated for the award for their role in contributing to successful education efforts.

Nikki Vreugdenhil, a Canadian who moved to Korea from Belgium to take the position at KIS, who is part of the elementary design team, said the nomination proves that the KIS community has a supportive culture and has ideas that embody passion about teaching.

Lindsey Cayer and Jess Kekelis, the other two nominees, who are part of the elementary music department and the middle school English department, also welcomed the nominations.