OHS Magnet adviser is nominated for Minnesota Teacher of the Year


Mariah Schroht

Ms. Wagner teaching OHS Magnet on how to edit articles

Mariah Schroht, Editor in Chief

Each year, teachers throughout Minnesota are nominated for Minnesota Teacher of the year. The Minnesota Teacher of the year award is a high recognition that honors excellence in education. Each year, the program chooses one teacher to represent Minnesota out of thousands of great teachers. This year OHS’s very own Ms. Jessica Wagner, who happens to be the OHS Magnet adviser, has been nominated. Additionally, last year she was named Owatonna Teacher of the Year. 

In the English department, Wagner teaches required English classes, Public Speaking, Journalism and OHS Magnet’s adviser. Wagner has been teaching for 19 years, all of which were at OHS. Wagner said, “My favorite part of teaching is the connections and community that I get to make with my students and colleagues.” Outside of school, Ms. Wagner spends time with her husband and two kids, reading books and drinking a cup of coffee. 

Additionally, Ms. Wagner has been advising the OHS Magnet for eight years. Ms. Wagner’s teaching experience has proved her nomination for this award. The process of getting to this point has three tiers—first, 75 candidates, then semi-finalists and the final round. Ms. Wagner said, “It is an honor to represent the teachers of Owatonna. Especially this year, all teachers are working so hard, it is really special to highlight Owatonna.” 

OHS students appreciate Wagner because of how personable she is and always pushing students to do their best. English teacher Ms. Lauren Gendron said, “Ms. Wagner goes above and beyond her students and colleagues. She builds meaningful relationships with her students while making class engaging and fun.” 

Another thing that students appreciate about Ms. Wagner is how she teaches. She wants you to understand the material and will happily take time out of her day to help students who might struggle with something. Senior Grace Arthur said, “One thing I appreciate about Ms. Wagner is that she creates connections with students and makes learning fun.”

The drive to help students reach their full potential, dedication to teaching and the ability to develop relationships with students prove Wagner to be a fantastic nominee for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year.