By Christopher BLUME
On Wednesday, fellow teachers, district officials and staff surprised La Crescenta Elementary School teacher Jennifer Zimmer with the Delmonte Award.
Keeping the award a secret was not easy, said Principal Kim Bishop. “Every time we would be making plans, Jennifer would walk in,” Bishop said.
The Education Committee of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce initiated the award in 1980 as a way to honor exemplary classroom teachers. Bishop nominated Zimmer for the award for her ability to go above and beyond for her students.
In her nomination letter Bishop wrote, “In the evening on most days you can find Jennifer Zimmer still at La Crescenta Elementary School…Thursday nights she can be found working with student performers preparing for our next Bulldog Productions musicals.”
In addition to going that extra mile for her children, Zimmer has two children of her own at the school and volunteers whenever she can.
“What would we all do without this incredible superwoman in our lives?” she wrote.
Zimmer had no idea that she would be given this award as she walked into the room.
“I thought it was just another staff meeting,” she said.
Then she saw her husband Jeff, sons Jackson and Jacob, Bishop, Superintendent Michael Escalante, assistant superintendent Katherine Fundukian-Thorossian, school board President Mary Boger, board member Joylene Wagner and several colleagues.
“I am driven because of the kids,” Zimmer said.
John Delmonte was a former Glendale businessman, an active community member and Glendale district parent. He admired and respected the teachers his children had throughout their school years and was motivated to initiate an award program. The award was dedicated in his name after his death in 1992.
The Glendale School district awards the honor five times a year to teachers who have demonstrated exemplary abilities and skills in the classroom and other instructional settings.