homepage logo

West Haven teacher a top 10 finalist in America’s Favorite Teacher competition

By Rob Nielsen - | Apr 25, 2024

Photo supplied

Jaron Sever, a shop teacher at Rocky Mountain Junior High School in West Haven, is among the top 10 finalists in Reader's Digest's America's Favorite Teacher contest as of Thursday, April 25, 2024.

WEST HAVEN — A Rocky Mountain Junior High School teacher is a finalist in a contest focused on rewarding educators.

As of Thursday, Jaron Sever, who has taught wood shop at Rocky Mountain Junior High for two years, was among the top 10 finalists in Reader’s Digest’s America’s Favorite Teacher competition.

Sever told the Standard-Examiner that he’s enamored with the learning process.

“My ultimate goal as a teacher, as far as curriculum and such, is to give the kids an experience that each one of them can walk away from it and be able to say they like it or they didn’t,” he said. “Anything in between means that they can’t make a clear decision on whether they’d like to learn more about it or not. It’s really awesome to be able to see kids be able to just learn about the world around them.”

He’s set to teach at West Field High School during its inaugural year.

Sever said he submitted an entry to the America’s Favorite Teacher contest for a chance to be included.

“At this point where we’re at in the competition, it’s a popularity contest to see who can get their community involved to support teachers,” he said.

People can vote for their favorite teacher once per day for free on the competition’s website, https://americasfavteacher.org/2024/jaron-sever, or buy additional votes with a donation. Every Thursday, the list of candidates is reduced. As of late Thursday afternoon, Sever was in sixth place of 10. The competition had originally started with 100 teachers selected. The top five vote-getters will advance beyond Friday. The competition lasts through May 30.

Sever said competitions like this give a chance for regular people to show their support for teachers.

“Opportunities like this, it’s really important to just stand up for every teacher that we can and make sure that teachers are heard and appreciated,” he said. “So many times, there’s so many people out there that will come up to you and say, ‘Man, I had a teacher that just made a difference in my life.’ And they’re like, ‘How can I help back?’ And most of the time, they don’t know how.

“Teachers, to begin with, don’t get paid very much. … This is one of those opportunities that they can help out and they can help support teachers financially.”

According to the contest’s website, the winner will received $25,000, a trip to Hawaii and appear in an issue of Reader’s Digest.

Sever said, win or lose, that the contest has shown the Rocky Mountain Junior High community truly does step up for its teachers.

“It’s pretty amazing, even if I don’t make it any farther, just (seeing) the support that this community has had for education,” he said. “We’re a pretty small community and just the idea that people want to be there, that people want kids to grow up with good opportunities, that hey want teachers to be supported so that they can be up with industry standards and help kids really be ready for this next generation’s challenges.”


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)