Paul Jebb, who teaches chemistry and physics at Ti High, has been named a 2011 Educator of Excellence by the New York State English Council for inspiring his students and colleagues.
Fires, explosions, crashes are common occurrences in Paul Jebb’s Ticonderoga High School science labs.
“If there’s a fire or explosion it’s a good class,” student Brandon Russell said. “Mr. Jebb’s classes are always fun.”
And effective. Jebb, who teaches chemistry and physics at Ti High, has been named a 2011 Educator of Excellence by the New York State English Council for inspiring his students and colleagues.
“Paul is a consummate professional; a fantastic teachers,” John McDonald, Ticonderoga Central School superintendent, said. “He’s great with kids, has high expectations and goes out of his way to find opportunities for students. We’re very proud of him.”
Jebb was nominated for the award by Russell, student Nate Lenhart, Counselor Kristen Murphy and Ti High Principal Mike Graney.
Jebb is unlike other teachers, his students claim.
“His teaching style is very different,” Russell explained. “He’s not big on notes, mostly things are hands on. He lets you do things yourself and you learn by trial and error. He keeps you involved every day.”
“It’s important to him that we learn not only how things work, but why they work,” Lenhart said. “He never gives us an answer, but he always gives us a way to find the answer.”
Jebb, who will receive his award at a ceremony i Albany this month, is humbled by the recognition.
“It’s a total surprise and I’m very appreciative,” Jebb said. “I have wonderful support and great students.”
Jebb, who has taught 11 years at Ti High after 16 years at Newcomb, feels hands-on learning is important in science.
“It’s the nature of science that doing leads to learning; it lends itself to hands-on projects,” he said. “I don’t know how teachers in other subjects succeed; they only have words and numbers to work with. If I didn’t have all the gizmos in my lab I’d be lost.”
A native Canadian, Jebb learned to love science while in high school.
“Mr. Asselstine, he was my chemistry teacher and was very important to me,” Jebb recalled. “He was very hands on and was an inspiration to me. I try to be like him.”
Graney said Jebb is deserving of the honor.
“Paul has a tremendous work ethic and passion for teaching and his students,” Graney said. “He’s normally the last person in the building every day. He’s an inspiration to his colleagues.
“We ask a lot of Paul,” Graney continued. “He often has six balls in the air at the same time, but he always manages to make his teaching his top priority. His students are never bored; he always makes his class interesting.”
That’s not hard, Jebb said.
“In science there’s always something new around the corner,” Jebb said. “It’s really not hard to to keep things fresh.”
While Jebb is a science teacher, he is also very involved with other projects, including the school’s College for Every Student program, the Bridge Builders team and competition and recent school improvement initiatives. He has served as chair of the building leadership team, the science department and the 2009 Career Exploration Day.