Des Moines Register article

We’ve been following my sister as a great people manager.  This is in the Des Moines Register.

Lynch finds her home in the classroom

3:26 PM, Apr. 19, 2011

Jeanine Lynch builds rapport. “When the kids come to school they have to know they are coming to a good place.”

Jeanine Lynch

FAMILY: Husband, Stan; two grown sons. 
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree from University of Northern Iowa; master’s degree from Drake University.
TEACHING: Second-grade teacher at Lawson Elementary School; has taught 22 of 35 years in the Johnston district.
HONOR: Received Outstanding Alumna Award from Drake for her master’s thesis work in 1990 on lower elementary students and creative writing.
OF NOTE: Lynch said she became a teacher because “I loved school.”


After 35 years of teaching – 22 in the Johnston school district – Jeanine Lynch gets asked sometimes why she never became an administrator.

Her nominator for the Johnston Community School Foundation’s teacher of the year award said Lynch has a clever response that also reveals where her heart truly lies.

“No thanks, they already know how to read.”

And so Lynch fights on as a second-grade teacher at Lawson Elementary School. Building trust with her students is what it is all about.

“When the kids come to school they have to know they are coming to a good place,” Lynch said. “They have to trust that I’m not going to put them in a situation that they can’t handle.”

Easier said than done, she said, considering the emphasis on testing these days, the increased depth and breadth of today’s curriculum and the broken nature of some family situations.

But she gets it done. Just ask the kids.

“She helps us so that we can do things on our own,” said second-grader Abby Smith.

Classmate Jackie Moss added that Lynch “makes school fun because of how she teaches new things.”

And then there is the ice cream factor.

“She showed us how to do a presentation by making an ice cream sundae,” said Adna Palic.

Children at Wallace and Beaver Creek elementary schools have been similarly educated and entertained when Lynch taught in those buildings over the years. She’s having as much fun as ever, she said, even on the days when her students seem to know more about the technology she is using than she does.

“Wow, the days of the overhead projector are long gone,” Lynch said.

But forever in demand will be Lynch’s capacity to build confidence in her students and their place in the world.

“It’s important you watch and listen to your friends to make sure they do it correctly,” Lynch said during a math lesson about counting money. “You really have to watch out and help each other.”

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