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Jessica Matz
Dalton Middle School teacher

Reason for selection: Mrs. Matz has a positive attitude each day with her 7th grade students in ELA. She has them do many different activities and has them engaged throughout her lessons. She also helps out by leading our positive behavior intervention and support program at our school. We are very glad and fortunate Mrs. Matz is a part of Dalton Middle School.

What do you love about working at Dalton Local Schools?
I love the community of Dalton and Kidron with their small town, country atmosphere. It has been a joy to work for Dalton Local Schools my entire teaching career because I am blessed to have a great team/staff to work and collaborate with every day. I enjoy teaching all of my students and getting to know each one even though the middle school years can be challenging. It brings warmth to my heart when I see the news or hear stories about their success as they move on to high school and the real world. I believe we have an awesome staff and the school and community works hard to provide the best resources for our students, such as beautiful buildings, the greenhouse, technology, and so much more. I love to share with other teachers what it is like to teach in Dalton, and so many are in awe of the environment where I get to work.

How did you get to where you are today?
For most of my childhood, I dreamed of being a teacher or a physical therapist. I had been inspired and driven by my family and many teachers to be one of the first in my family to graduate from college along with working as hard as I can to do my best in my school work, athletics, and any other extra curriculars. I had the pleasure of being taught by Mr. David Spreng twice at Loudonville and he pushed me to turn my “usual, casual B” grades into A’s, shadow my former 4th grade teacher Mrs. Cindy Pribble (at the time Switzer) in a Future Teachers of America type of program, and my college advisor Dr. James Lifer helped prepare me for the real world of teaching. I graduated from Loudonville in 1997 and pursued my degree in Elementary Education 1-8 at Ashland University where I graduated in 2001. I soon began my career at Dalton Local Schools teaching 7th grade language arts and home economics after receiving a phone call from Broc Bidlack, and then I received my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University by 2003. Over the years, home economics became the elective of French and oral communications/speech up until we left the old intermediate school. I have also taught a few years of 6th grade language arts and 5th/6th grade social studies, but a majority of my time has been in the area of 7th grade language arts. Besides teaching, I spent 2001-2010 coaching the Dalton high school softball and 8th grade volleyball teams as well as the last 8 years as the advisor for the Pup Press, the middle school newspaper. I am an active member of the DLEA, social committees, and the PBIS committee.

Tell us one interesting little fact about yourself that people would be surprised to hear.
I am pretty much an open book, but there may be some things about me that people would be surprised to hear. First, I am a morning person, the first one up and the last one down in my household. I drive an 80 mile round trip between Loudonville and Dalton to work every day. Besides teaching, I also coach youth softball, am a soccer mom, run 5 travel softball tournaments, and have been a Girls Scout leader for 5 years (total of 13 years in Girl Scouts). I look at my two children, Chloe and Brayden, as the biggest accomplishments in my life, and when I am not at school, they are the focus of my world. Finally, I will forever be proud of winning the 1997 state softball championship as a player for Loudonville and having the privilege to coach the 2006 and 2007 state softball teams for Dalton, becoming one of four women in the state of Ohio to win state in softball as a player and coach. Overall, I feel it is no surprise to those who know me well, I am driven to help and serve others as I believe it is my purpose in life.

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