TWL 1219

Jennifer Dukelow, math teacher at Arcadia High School 

Nominated by Linda Schlenker

How long have you been teaching at Arcadia High? 

This is my 15th year teaching here. I graduated from Arcadia High School and it is my home. I hope to spend my entire career here.  

Which classes do you teach? 

I teach trigonometry/precalculus honors, AP calculus BC and college and career enhancement. In the past, I have also taught calculus 3/differential equations honors, algebra basics, geometry basics, geometry, geometry/trigonometry honors, AIMS math, and geometry support. I taught primarily geometry for 12 years.  

Did you always know you wanted to teach?

I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was around five years old, but I always wanted to teach whatever grade I was currently in as a student. I used to give my little brother math tests when he was around three years old. It was meant to be!

Once I got to Arcadia, two absolutely incredible math teachers, Barb Thomas and Elaine Stone, made me fall in love with math and realize that being a high school math teacher was my true calling in life.  

What is your favorite part about being a teacher? 

It is definitely the students. I am so lucky that I get to spend every day with such amazing kids, form such great relationships with them, and be a part of their lives. It is what makes me excited to come to work every single day, and I stay in contact with many of my former students.  

What is your favorite part of the Arcadia area? 

I grew up in Phoenix about a half a mile from Arcadia and my favorite part of the area is Arcadia itself. Even though the school has been completely rebuilt since I was a student there, it will always feel like home when I walk on campus.  

What is the best part about teaching high school? 

Working with teenagers. They are so great. They are passionate, funny, caring and talented. I get to watch them become who they will be as adults, and I know my students are going to change the world.  

What are some unique teaching techniques you use? 

I like to incorporate food when possible...I teach an entire unit in BC Calculus that we call “Cakeulus.” Someday, I will retire and open a bakery named that and all the baked goods will have math on them. 

I also think that forming strong relationships with students is one of my strengths as a teacher. Students will do so much more for you when they know you truly care about them. I also use humor a lot.  

How does it feel to be nominated as a Teacher We Love? 

It is incredible! I love my students so much, and it means so much to me to be nominated. The best part of my job is getting to form relationships with such amazing young men and women. 

At the presentation, I only saw the four administrators and wasn’t sure what was going on, although they were all smiling. Then I saw the Schlenkers and I figured something was afoot. Something good is always about to happen when Linda and Grace are around.  

What is your favorite inspirational quote? 

“The only person you need to compare yourselfto is the person you were yesterday.”

I think we can all take something from that, but especially young people as they see others posting on social media and feel pressure to succeed and be the best. They are all amazing, and it only matters that they are happy with who they are as a person and the choices they make.