Since she was six years old, Jessica Karll wanted to be a teacher, and at Discovery Ridge Elementary in O’Fallon, Missouri, her students benefit from her dream come true.
Karll enables student success by creating a culture of respect, concern and support. Her classroom is a holistic learning community, where students share about issues in school and in life that affect their ability to learn. Whether they arrive at class in need of breakfast, homework help or a shoulder to cry on, Karll is there to provide whatever it takes for students to achieve. Counselors purposefully place at-risk and disabled students in her classes, knowing that she has an astute sense of the learning techniques best suited to each learner’s individual needs or challenges. She is well-known in the community for her active volunteerism; a recurring lesson ties economics to civic engagement, culminating in her students selling crafts that they make and donating the money to a local cause of their choice.
Because the students are confident in receiving support from Karll and one another, they are willing to take risks and engage in immersive, student-led learning, guided expertly by Karll using a wide variety of teaching practices. In large part due to her instruction and leadership, third graders at Discovery Range Elementary test highest among schools in their area, and score higher than the state average; Karll’s students in particular routinely achieve more than a year’s growth in core subjects.
Karll is also co-chair of her school’s CharacterPlus Caring Communities committee, she coaches other teachers on Collaborative Problem Solving, and she is a trainer for “The Leader In Me,” among other leadership roles on campus. Karll is a nurturing and devoted educator who links learning to the real world and who is creating the next generation of engaged and thoughtful citizens.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Oct 16 , 2014 | St. Louis, MO