Rebecca Junge constantly seeks out innovative teaching strategies to engage her fourth graders at Journey Elementary School in Casper, Wyoming. Students love her shape-shifting classroom, which Junge periodically transforms into a polling place, escape room, Super Mario game course, circus, Shark Tank set, and campaign headquarters when students run for class mayor. She designed lesson plans incorporating “Among Us,” knowing the popular video game would grab students’ attention as they practiced important skills. Junge was one of the first Journey teachers to implement WyoTowne, a financial literacy program for students across Wyoming. She has become a go-to resource for educators statewide, and Junge’s student mayor was invited to speak and deliver a proclamation at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming WyoTowne breakfast. Junge’s students also learn outside the classroom, through volunteering, UNICEF fund drives and trips to mountain science camp.
As the fourth grade team leader, Junge dives into student data to help develop strategies that best serve learners’ needs. She leads Journey’s math team, sits on the school leadership team, and serves as building assessment facilitator and NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) coordinator. Junge embraces the culture and methodology of project-based learning and shares her expertise freely with colleagues. She will drop everything to help a colleague, including adapting to shifting technology and strategies through the pandemic.
Community service is a priority for Junge, who comes from a family of special education teachers. She has coached athletes, coordinated events, raised money and recruited volunteers for the Special Olympics. Junge volunteers for Our Camp Inc., a summer camp for individuals with disabilities, and helps put on “Night to Shine,” a prom for special needs youth. She coaches middle school volleyball and is a founding member of Casper’s Rotaract Club, Rotary’s branch for young professionals.
Junge earned a bachelor’s in elementary education in 2012 from the University of Wyoming and a master’s in curriculum and instruction in 2016 from Adams State University.
Press release: In Casper, Wyoming, Rebecca Junge Reimagines the Classroom – and Realizes a $25,000 Milken Educator Award
"My message for students: If you love school, teaching is an opportunity for you to continue to go to school for the rest of your..." (read more)