Second grade teacher Mrs. Jill Bentch was awarded the Sacred Heart School Teacher of the Year for 2024. Bentch received the award on Friday following the conclusion of the Catholic Schools Week all-school Mass.

"Mrs. Bentch embraces her God-given abilities to bring out the best in her students and in her colleagues," said Kyle Herrick, president of the SHS Foundation, who presented the award. "No matter how busy life may get, her colleagues say she never falters on her creativity, willingness to learn and adapt, commitment to student success, and dedication to her faith and family."

What makes Teacher of the Year so special is that the only people who vote for Teacher of the Year are the Sacred Heart School Faculty. Candidates eligible for Teacher of the Year must demonstrate a positive school spirit. They must be involved in school, church, and or community activities.

They must achieve an overall above-average evaluation on classroom teaching and have at least six years of teaching experience at Sacred Heart School. Bentch has been in education for 22 years, 18 of which have been at Sacred Heart. She earned a degree in elementary education and Spanish and made the Dean’s List. She also has a master’s in curriculum & instruction.

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"There are so many examples I could give but one that stands out was during COVID," said Mrs. Nikki Howell, Sacred Heart School President.

"When we had virtual learning during COVID, Mrs. Bentch would schedule after-hour Zoom calls with students when they needed help with a lesson. Other times, she intentionally scheduled classroom show-and-tell days to keep students connected. The patience she has to organize kids whether it be in person or through a virtual classroom is quite a gift. She proves that you don’t have to have a big voice to have a big presence," she said.

In the photos:
Group: Former students of Mrs. Jill Bentch gathered for a group photo following Bentch's award. Bentch Flowers: Mark Bentch surprises his wife, Jill with congratulatory flowers. Family and friends were notified in advance to be a part of the surprise celebration.

Bentch: Headshot of Mrs. Jill Bentch

Bentch Award: Pictured, School president, Mrs. Nikki Howell; Pastor Fr. Joe Corel; Mrs. Jill Bentch; SHS Foundation President Kyle Herrick

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