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Celebrating Jon Kerr – Teaching, Caring and Making Connections with Sandwich Students for 25 years!

On Tuesday December 9th, the Town of Sandwich and the Sandwich Public Schools came together to honor their employees for their years of service. Deb Landry, Principal at Henry T. Wing, prepared these remarks about Mr. Kerr.

When Jon Kerr first started in education, he was a substitute teacher in school districts from Dennis to Plymouth.  He thought if he got a fourth grade position in Sandwich at the Henry T. Wing School, it would be a dream come true. Well, fortunately for us, it did come true.  Jon taught fourth grade for the first twenty-two years of his career along side Nancy Names, his professional partner for fifteen of those years in the 27 building. Since that time, Jon has been teaching mostly science and social studies in the sixth grade. He says his fourth and sixth grade colleagues have enriched his instruction and contributed to his raising the bar for himself as an educator.

Here are some memorable moments from Mr. Kerr’s past 25 years as told by his colleagues:

  • Some of Mr. Kerr’s most memorable curriculum projects included the student created Hot Air Balloons, and Earthquake Houses. Mr. Kerr is a gentle giant great with all of the kids, and especially those who share his love of fishing!  He reaches them in his firm but kind way. The kids adored him. For those of you not in the know, Mr. Kerr is a 6’5″ tall!  One little 4th grader went home the first day of school and told his parents he had a giant for a teacher! Many of his fourth-grade graduates often come back to visit and reconnect with him and tell him how they are doing.
  • Mr. Kerr is a good Yankee, who never wastes anything. One day he decided that he could use some old lunch trays that were in the old boiler room under the 27 building. During his prep period, he went in to get them and the door locked behind him. No one knew he was in there for about an hour or so, until a custodian heard him calling for a rescue!
  • Mr. Kerr has been composting and gardening for many years.  “Back in the day,” he used to bring in plants and grow them under heating lamps in his 4th grade classroom. One day Mrs. Names was in Jon’s room teaching and noticed movement coming from the direction of Mr. Kerr’s potted plants. A snake slithered out of the pot, eyeing the class, and swaying back and forth like a cobra! It was actually a little garden snake. By the time calm was restored the snake was nowhere to be found. It had slithered into the ventilating system and was captured a few days later in Mr. RigordaEva’s room, curled up near her desk…much to the disappointment of the kids. They loved the drama of a snake on the loose.

Jon Kerr is a teacher who makes a difference in the lives of many children. His soft spoken demeanor is comforting for his students and makes them feel at ease in his classroom. He imparts his knowledge to his students in an encouraging way, letting each one know that be believes in his/her ability to succeed. Sincerity is a hallmark of this great individual. He is a well respected colleague and teacher.

One of Mr. Kerr’s biggest accomplishments is being recognized by The New England Waterworks Association for his outstanding commitment to drinking water education.

Finally and most importantly, Mr. Kerr wants you all to know that the “Wing School Family” has been “unbelievably supportive” to him throughout his health issues in the last twelve years.  He wants his colleagues to know that their love and support have greatly touched him and his loved ones. Mr. Kerr’s wife and children will never forget how much kindness and love were given to them during very stressful and scary times.  The amount of care and compassion he was shown has touched him deeply and as he said…“Is in my heart forever.”

Congratulations to Jon Kerr for 25 years of service to the Sandwich Public Schools.