An exuberant Jennifer Hoffner-Turkowski takes her first-grade classroom
at University Park Elementary School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, by
storm. And the kids love every second of it. The fact that she took classes
at Disney University on management, marketing and communications
might have something to do with that!
Hoffner-Turkowski is known for customizing her teaching methods to help move every student forward. She is adept at working with special- needs students and collaborating with resource teachers. Thorough and well-organized, Hoffner-Turkowski uses PowerPoint presentations, frequently walks around her classroom not to miss a beat, and asks thought-provoking higher-level questions throughout her lessons to ensure that her students fully understand the concepts. Classroom assessment data help Hoffner-Turkowski track her classroom's progress and allow her adjust her methods when necessary.
Hoffner-Turowski's engaging teaching practices have contributed to University Park Elementary's high student achievement rates. For the 2011-12 school year, 85 percent of the students scored proficient and above on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for both reading and math. At least 90 percent of her students met or exceeded their end-of-year benchmark goals on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). Her class average for DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency (DORF) was 95 words, double the class goal.
Hoffner-Turkowski serves on the Pennsylvania Leading, Empowering, Advancing, and Diversifying Schools (LEADS) Core Team for shared decision-making as well as the K–12 Math Curriculum Review and the development team for the Common Core State Standards. She is a grade- level team teacher, works on the bullying program, volunteers annually to train a student teacher and facilitates a study for colleagues on a book about understanding poverty. In addition, Hoffner-Turkowski is a pioneer in the district's “Outside-the-Box” initiative to balance art and science. A Girl Scout leader, she presents an interdisciplinary unit on camping and is well-respected by parents and the broader community.
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