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Villa Madonna Teacher Receives Kenton Co. Library Literacy Award

A Villa Madonna Academy teacher was awarded the 2021 Kenton County Public Library Foundation's Mary Ann Mongan Literacy Award.

Jennifer Yuenger teaches sixth grade at Villa Madonna, where she has worked since 2004.

Fir the past twelve years she has taught language arts, social studies, and religion.

The award recognizes an individual or organization that has show outstanding service in literacy in Kenton County, a news release said. It is named for former library director who served in that role for more than 40 years.

Yuenger was nominated by colleague Soshana Bosley who wrote, “Jenna Yuenger is a highly resourceful and enthusiastic teacher.  She is dedicated, committed, enthusiastic and passionate about her students and Villa Madonna Academy.  She has a solid understanding of pedagogy and curriculum for her age group.  She inspires her students to give their best effort by providing a real learning atmosphere in the classroom and by the manner in which she challenges the students.”

Bosley explained that Yuenger’s students are challenged through thought-provoking projects. One example includes pushing students to write their own novels. She worked with students to set writing goals for their novels. 

To assist and energize the students, she arranged for them to chat with authors such as Geoff Rodkey, Lisa Greenwald, Jackie Dolamore, and Stuart Gibbs. The students prepared for their author interviews by writing questions, interviewing the authors, and recording their responses. 

“At school, Ms. Yuenger purchases new books for her students almost weekly,” said Bosley. “Her collection has grown so much her classroom frequently needs new bookshelves to add to her classroom library. She hosts book talks with the students to share books that she has read and thinks students in her class will enjoy. This has grown and become something that students also do to share books they read and think their classmates will enjoy. 

"Because of this open dialogue and Ms. Yuenger’s passion for reading, Ms. Yuenger is able to get her students reading a variety of genres, talking about them with their peers, and enjoying reading themselves! Ms. Yuenger promotes a positive learning environment both in and out of her classroom by passing on her passion for reading and writing to the students.”  

Library representatives including Executive Director Dave Schroeder and Foundation President Justin Dammel presented Yuenger with the award during VMA’s holiday program.

“We like to keep the surprise a secret from the recipient, so she had no idea she was getting the award,” said Schroeder. “It was so great that all of the students she teaches could be part of this presentation.”

Yuenger was presented with a $250 check and shown a video created in her honor, which will go on the library’s website along with past recipients’ videos at kentonlibrary.org.

-Staff library

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