Jupiter Christian School named Palm Beach Atlantic alumna Brooke Hibbard its Lower School Teacher of the Year.
Hibbard ’14 is a fourth-grade teacher at the private Christian school in Jupiter, Florida. Her peers nominated her for the award, which the school announced during an end-of-year Zoom call.
“I was shocked,” Hibbard said. “I felt so validated in my work.”
Hibbard credits her love of children and her own third-grade teacher, Melinda Devlin, of Lake Placid, Florida, for motivating her to become a teacher. Devlin was “always so kind and loving and made everyone feel so welcome in her class,” Hibbard recalled. Hibbard aims to imitate those qualities and teach them to her students.
“They know that we’re a family,” Hibbard said. “We’re kind to each other, we protect each other and we build relationships.”
Her PBA professors modeled the relationship-building that she teaches to her students, she said.
“My class was really small, so I felt that my professors really cared about me,” Hibbard said. “It was different – not something I would have gotten at a big university.”
Hibbard has a lot of fun teaching her fourth-grade students, who want to please the teacher but also have “their own funky personalities.” She also enjoys working alongside like-minded believers who pray for and support each other. For the past three years, she’s worked on the fourth-grade team alongside the teacher who supervised her when she was an intern at the school.
Whenever Hibbard’s principal observes her in the classroom, she gets high marks for preparing lessons that captivate her students, she said. As an undergraduate, her PBA coursework taught her how to come up with engaging lessons, not just “teaching from the textbook.” Professors expect students to go above and beyond what is required of them.
“It totally prepares you for the real world and being in the classroom,” Hibbard said.
Photo: Jupiter Christian School named Brooke Statler Hibbard '14 its Lower School Teacher of the Year.