Teacher of the Year: Jerry Neal Price Jr. sets aside time to connect with students to discuss their goals

Published 2:09 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Jerry Neal Price Jr. is a teacher at River City Early College who believes making a true connection with his students helps them reach their goals.

“I had the privilege of teaching Sophomore Leadership at River City Early College last year and the students and I had many conversations about life, their educational goals, and their future aspirations,” he said.

Price went on to explain that in Leadership Class he teaches Leader in Me Habits, one of which is Habit 8, Find Your Voice.

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“Habit 8 teaches how important it is to find your talents and strengths,” Price said. “It also teaches you to use those talents and strengths to have a positive impact on the world around (you).”

Price is a finalist for the Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce’s Educator of the Year award.

The Chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the Chamber Luncheon on Feb. 21 at noon.

The winner of each award will receive $1,000 and the runner-up for each award will receive $500.

Price started teaching in 2020 at River City Early College and has taught Sophomore Leadership, Algebra II and Geometry.

When asked how he connects his Geometry students with the world around them, Price said, “I do my best to relate Geometry to how it relates to their everyday lives.

“They detest doing Geometry proofs mainly because they do not understand why they must do them,” he said. “I explain to them that for the rest of their lives, they will have to prove things are true. I use the example of a lawyer who always has to prove that their client is innocent.”

Price said his most moving educational moment happened last year when he was warned about a student who was “obstinate and difficult.”

“I found an in by getting her and her friends to play spoons with me on Friday afternoons,” Price said. “The student that everyone warned me against wrote me a letter at the end of the year where she thanked me for making the extra effort to get to know her and always being there for her even if it was just a smile.

“I will always treasure that letter and the relationship that I made with her,” Price said.  “Students need to see their potential and opportunity for success. After all, that is why I teach.”