Principal Jenna O’Driscoll holds high expectations for students at Merrill Park Elementary School in Saginaw, Michigan.
O’Driscoll has been teaching in the Saginaw Public School District since 2010. She previously taught second grade at nearby Jessie Loomis Elementary. O’Driscoll had a relationship with most of the students in the building, and teachers from other grade levels often sent her pupils who needed extra help or a listening ear. In her own classroom, O’Driscoll planned innovative, engaging lessons and activities that included cooperative learning strategies, flexible grouping and data-driven interventions to address learning gaps. Her students thrived as a result, consistently delivering some of the district’s highest growth on reading and math assessments.
O’Driscoll chaired Loomis’ School Improvement Leadership Team, served as the school’s High Quality chairperson, and worked on the family engagement team, student council committee and social committee. She helped create common district assessments and supervised Loomis’ first virtual summer school program for elementary students. O’Driscoll helped design the school’s K-2 “Power Hour” to offer extra assistance and enrichment in reading and math, and led after-school programs in robotics and reading.
O’Driscoll makes community-building a priority, getting to know families and understanding their needs. At Loomis, she helped organize evening events for families around math, science and reading, with record attendance thanks to her positive attitude. O’Driscoll has partnered with a local church, inspiring members to donate shoes and clothing, read with students in the classroom, and even serve as crossing guards.
O’Driscoll earned a bachelor’s in elementary education in 2009 and a master’s in educational leadership in 2018 from Saginaw Valley State University.
Press release: Saginaw's Jenna O'Driscoll Earns $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Building Academic Skills – and Community
"I love working with the kids every day. I love those 'aha' moments, when they finally catch on and realize they can do this....I was..." (read more)