St. Bridget Catholic School teacher earns honor - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

St. Bridget Catholic School teacher earns honor after 26 years of teaching

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LOVES PARK (WREX) -

Every kid dreams of being something when they grow up, a doctor or maybe a firefighter. This week's Teacher of the Week, Mrs. Jill Deckard at St. Bridget Catholic School was no different, and left behind her childhood dreams of being a forest ranger, to be a teacher

"I've taught for many years and I love teaching, but I don't think I'm any different than any other teacher, so I was very surprised to be nominated. That's a wonderful thing," says Jill Deckard, a science and math teacher at St. Bridget Catholic School in Loves Park.

Deckard considers here students family. She tries to give her students options to keep learning fresh, allowing them to work on the topics they're most interested in.

"I think it's important to give children a choice," says Deckard. "It builds their self esteem, because they feel that if they can choose something, if I allow them to do that, then I respect their choice and they feel good about themselves."

Her dedication doesn't stop when the bell rings. Deckard's husband says she keeps in contact with a lot of students after they've graduated, and spends hours at home preparing her lessons.

"She's up a quarter to five every morning," says Jill's husband, Mark Deckard. "She goes to bed late a lot of times, you doing homework and stuff. Yah she spends a lot of time. She does a lot of extra stuff for the kids, trying to make it fun for them."

She dedicates her award to her family.

"My family comes first, after God," Deckard says. "My family and then my work, so it was very special to have my family."

And for that dream of being a forest ranger, Deckard says she just sticks to fishing.

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