Fourth grade teacher Valerie Jaques was named as the 2019 Liz Peters Master Teacher during The Dunham School commencement exercises on May 18. This annual award, named for the late Liz Peters who was the school’s first employee and a master teacher herself, recognizes a member of the faculty who demonstrates excellence in the classroom.
As she presented Jaques with the award, Lower School Head and Dean of Faculty Deedra LaPlace said,“In 14 years, I have received countless praises for this teacher and not a single negative comment—not one! She is a gentle spirit and always humble, but there is no doubt that her caliber as a teacher is worthy of this high recognition.”
Jaques has taught at Dunham for 14 years, first in third grade, then as a fourth grade teacher. An outstanding teacher in all subjects, Jaques’ passion is math and science. As a classroom teacher and the Lower School robotics team sponsor, she has inspired countless students to be creative and “think outside of the box.”
Jaques, who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Louisiana Tech University, continues to be a lifelong learner who strives to grow professionally and remain on the cutting edge of her pedagogy. She serves as the leader of the Lower School science program and acts as a liaison between the Lower and Middle Schools to ensure that the curriculum continues to meet national science standards and benchmarks. In addition, Jacques has mentored numerous new teachers during her tenure at Dunham.
"Every day, I am surrounded by a faculty of locally, nationally and internationally recognized educators and it humbles me to be recognized for my contribution to the development of the students at The Dunham School. I am extremely grateful and honored to be recognized as the 2019 Master Teacher," Jaques said.