Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Jessica Lynn Ford

Jessica Lynn Ford is an Earth Science teacher who began her career in the Yonkers Public Schools in 2010 at Palisade Preparatory School and transferred to the Enrico Fermi School as a bilingual Earth Science teacher, where she taught for one year. In 2015, she returned to Palisades Preparatory School, now known as the Barack Obama School for Social Justice. 

Ms. Ford received a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching, Earth Science & Adolescent Education and a Bilingual Extension from Pace University and a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish & Adolescent Education from Manhattanville College. Ms. Ford also took theater Arts courses at SUNY Westchester Community College. She has teaching certifications for grades 7-12 in Earth Science, Spanish and Drama.

In her application, Jessica shared an activity she initiated that led to student growth and development.  Just prior to the June New York State Earth Science Regents in 2019, Ms. Ford launched Instagram LIVE @ 6am! “I opened my teacher Instagram account and activated the LIVE feature. Almost immediately, students in my classes and across the district joined the feed for a Regents review session. Behind their screens they engaged by asking questions, reacting in real time and owning their learning. The response was overwhelming. Fellow teachers and professionals in the district noticed and implemented similar review sessions. Students that needed to clarify concepts felt comfortable and safe in the online digital space. Over the past four years, social media has proven to be a powerful educational and communication tool that is accessible to students and the school community at large.”

Jessica also wrote about her involvement in the total school program. “Closest to my heart is the student growth that happens in the drama classes and clubs that I have been privileged to develop and facilitate throughout my career. The students get to watch my passion and see another side of Ms. Ford, the science teacher. Creating a safe space in rehearsals and onstage gives them lifelong skills in public speaking, confidence and character building. Projects that involve the faculty and students of Sarah Lawrence College elevates the typical classroom, exposing students to higher education and all aspects of performance.” This work aligns with her teaching philosophy. “Educators wear many hats, and we are the greatest showmen of our craft. We are the directors and behind the scenes managers of our ‘stages.’ I strive to be the teacher who is part of the community and my students’ lives, beyond their grades, and the year they are in my classroom. I want my lessons to teach them how to cultivate their gifts and talents and have the courage to share them.”

When asked what she liked the most about her job, Ms. Ford responded, “Elevating the science classroom by incorporating theatrical projects, and hands-on labs through groupwork, gives students a glimpse into another side of me and another perspective of the content.  My heart soars watching with pride as my students create, perform, and facilitate theater, whether in a student-written musical, talent shows, and full-scale musical productions.”

Jessica Lynn Ford’s parents, Karen & Jim Ford, from a very young age, encouraged Jessica to be creative through singing and dancing. In Jessica’s words, “They instilled an appreciation and dedication to both education and the performing arts. These core values were also shared with my baby sister Amanda, who is now my beautiful guardian angel, watching all my performances from heaven. A piece of my heart also belongs to my 8-year-old nephew Jason, who also shares the same admiration for theater and creativity and who is also one of my biggest cheerleaders and toughest critics. I am so appreciative of the unconditional love and support of my closest friends and dearest extended family members.”