LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Elizabeth Jorgensen

Position: Creative Writing Teacher
School: Arrowhead Union High School
School District: Arrowhead Union High School District
City, State: Hartland, WI

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Elizabeth Jorgensen was nominated by a student.

"I have never been one who thought my writing was good," said the student. "Never had I thought I would have a chance to publish or even enjoy writing. But one teacher changed it all for me — Elizabeth Jorgensen, my creative writing teacher who I had during the first semester of my senior year. Not only did she make classes fun, but she was also passionate and caring about her students and her job.

Never have I seen a teacher care so much about her students' writing...Since I started this class, Ms. J has helped me write multiple poems and has helped me become a better writer.

Ms. J hands us opportunities. In every assignment, we have a chance to be published. She sends every student's work to multiple writers' markets. She also tells us about extra credit assignments. Ms. J allows us to get our writing out there and get the experience of being a published writer — which has always excited me.

I'm the type of student who lives by extra credit. When I asked Ms. J to look at one of my extra credit poems, she first said, 'Yeah, of course, I'll get right on that.' Most teachers would have taken at least a week. But Ms. J looked at it and helped me finish it by the end of class that day. She doesn't wait around and expect you to simply know what you're doing. Instead, she helps you get there.

She also does her own writing — like the article she published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. And her four books! Mr. J is one of the busiest teachers I've met. Ms. J taught me it's possible to have a busy life and still be happy. She is practically a superhero, and I still can't figure out how she manages to do it all.

Because of Ms. J, I can write about what I want and feel good about it. I don't have to worry about being held back — because when it comes to creative writing, Ms. J has taught me there isn't a limit on creativity."