West’s Deener excels at juggling teaching with participating in many activities
Spanish teacher. AP coordinator. Student Leadership Team advisor. Bass Fishing Club coach. Those are just some of the titles held by Jordan Deener, the January Staff Member of the Month for West Campus.
His commitment to taking on extra duties earned him nominations from students, who say Deener balances it all with working hard to help them learn Spanish. He’s currently teaching Spanish 2 and Honors Spanish 4.
“Mr. Deener has gone above and beyond with everything that's on his plate,” senior Eileen Zheng wrote in her nomination. “He often uses his passing period time to have mini conferences with his students to make sure they're okay in his class.”
Zheng was one of seven nominations for Deener, and most nominations mention that full plate. Carrie Thomas said both of her sons were fortunate to have had Deener as a teacher.
“I truly feel that he should be recognized for his outstanding work!” Thomas said in her nomination.
Deener said his activities are spread throughout the year to make them manageable, and it gives him the opportunity to learn about different aspects of the school system.
“It’s nice to be able to work with everyone,” he said.
Deener, a 2009 West graduate, credits his own teachers for clearing his path to becoming an educator himself. And it’s his students who continue to teach and inspire him.
“The more I see them grow, the more I love my job,” Deener said.
A teacher for five years, Deener has also worked as a bilingual Spanish special education teacher, and got his start as a special education paraprofessional. He has an associate’s degree from McHenry County College and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and literature from Northern Illinois University.
Deener is starting a master’s program in educational leadership this spring. He said he’s been so busy, he was completely surprised by the award.
The monthly Staff Member of the Month program started in District 156 at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. Each month, a staff member from each campus is selected based on recommendations of other staff, students, parents and community members.
Those selected receive a plaque and a gift card for either Brunch Cafe or Meat and Potato Eatery. MCHS appreciates the support from those sponsors.