School News

Paul Jensen: A leader both in and out of the classroom


Paul Jensen, shown above, loves what he does, and our children are the benefactors.

By Marsh Davis, Principal, Onsted Elementary School
and John Hummer, Editor

Onsted Elementary School second grade teacher Paul Jensen has an enthusiasm for teaching that is second to none.

“I just love what I do – I love seeing the smiles on my students’ faces when they finally get it and the excitement they have at this age!” he said. “It is an honor to do what I do every day and watching the children grow each and every day. I want to inspire my students to be lifelong learners.”

Jensen is a teacher who exhibits leadership in the classroom as well as throughout the school. He teaches students what it means to be a leader through the Leader in Me process founded by the late Dr. Stephen Covey. He has served as the Leader in Me Lighthouse facilitator as well as a team member for the process at the school.

The Leader in Me emphasizes three principles of leadership: leadership environment, shared leadership, and leadership events. Covey was also creator of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The Onsted  Teacher of the Month is brought to you courtesy of Michigan International Speedway.

“We are all part of a team that is creating an inspiring culture where students and staff learn and live by the 7 Habits at school, home, and in the communities they live,” Jensen said.

Paul grew up in Escanaba of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and graduated from Escanaba High School. He then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Western Michigan University. He is now in his 20th year of teaching – all at Onsted Community Schools. He taught fourth and fifth grades for 16 years before teaching second grade the past four years.

Paul Jensen’s second grade class collects can tabs to support the work of the Ronald McDonald House.

Jensen also exudes creativity and innovation in the classroom.

“One thing I do with my kids is make them be individuals,” he says. “I come down to their level and teach them at their level. I treat them as individuals no matter what their learning style is.”

“He searches out the best fit for his students when they are learning a new concept,” said Marsh Davis, principal of Onsted Elementary School.

Davis said that Jensen works well with parents and keeps them informed so that they can be a partner throughout the year.

“I just love what I do!
I love seeing the smiles on my students’ faces when they finally get it and the excitement they have at this age! It is an honor to do what I do every day. I want to inspire my students to be lifelong learners.”

Paul Jensen
Onsted Elementary School second grade teacher

“Paul uses technology to interact with families over holiday breaks and when important information needs to be shared,” she said, adding that he consistently advances students to higher levels of academic achievement by using technology in his classroom.

“I use technology every single day in the classroom. It gives the kids extra incentive to learn as well,” he said.

Davis said Jensen also promotes a strong sense of family and belonging among classmates.

“He knows positive relationships matter!” she said. “Paul motivates students by encouraging students to exceed their expectations both academically and socially.”

Jensen demonstrates civic responsibility by being active in the community and in service organizations. His special project is collecting can tabs go to the Ronald McDonald House in Toledo to support the children and families.

“Each year I try to do something special out of the classroom,” he said. “The Ronald McDonald House supports families who have children that need extra medical attention and puts the families up for the duration of how long their children may be in the hospital, so basically they get free room and board.”

In his spare time, Paul enjoysgolfing, spending time with his wife, and traveling to see his brothers and sisters in other states during the summer. He has two grown boys who are on their own.


The Leader in Me / 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  • Habit 1: Be Proactive (You’re in Charge)
  • Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind(Have a Plan)
  • Habit 3: Put First Things First (Work First, Then Play)
  • Habit 4: Think Win-Win (Everyone Can Win)
  • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood (Listen Before You Talk)
  • Habit 6: Synergize (Together Is Better)
  • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw (Balance Feels Best)

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