Akron teacher competing to be “America’s Favorite Teacher”

AKRON, N.Y. (WIVB) — A teacher at Akron Elementary School is now a quarter-finalist in a national competition for America’s Favorite Teacher.

Jessica Krauss teaches third grade. She says her favorite part of being an educator is “sparking the love of learning.”

“I enjoy showing kids they are capable of far more than they may have imagined,” Krauss said. “Working on building students’ confidence helps them achieve their goals and then set even higher goals.”

She recalled her most memorable teaching experience as one she says helped a student “thrive.”

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“Once we provided additional supports, such as counseling, breakfast, clean clothes, and morning showers in the nurse’s office, he was able to thrive!” Krauss said. “He was happier and making new friends. He no longer would hide under the desk avoiding others. Even after he was no longer in my class, he would stop by every morning to say hello and get a hug.”

As voting in the quarter-finals takes place, the Amherst native has a shot at winning a trip to Hawaii, $25,000 and an appearance in Reader’s Digest.

“With $25,000, I could add more flexible seating options and new books in my classroom,” she said. “I would also redecorate and add a new classroom theme. I would put the remaining money towards a wedding or home. I would absolutely be getting a golden retriever puppy!”

The current round of voting ends May 16 at 7 p.m., while double donation votes go until Wednesday at 9 p.m. The money raised from voting helps benefit Teach for America, a national network of teachers that helps support other educators.

You can vote here.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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