December 13, 2011 (Jackson) - Belhaven University Alumnae, Jennifer Arthur Ard (’10), was named Clinton’s District Teacher of the Year for the 2011-2012 school year.

This award is a step toward becoming the State’s Teacher of the Year, to be named in the Spring of 2012. Ard is an Algebra teacher for Sumner Hill Junior High in Clinton, one the highest performing schools in Mississippi.

Ard has taught at Sumner Hill since 2007. Prior to coming to Clinton, she taught Algebra II at Nettleton High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Mississippi State University. Ard continued her education at Belhaven University where she received her Master of Education in secondary education.

“Her passion for teaching is evident in every aspect of her work here at Sumner Hill,” said Sumner Hill Principal Austin Brown. “Inside the classroom, her devotion, creativity and care for each individual student enables her to reach students at various levels and move them to where they need to be in order to achieve at the highest possible levels.”

District Superintendent Phil Burchfield said, “With a Quality of Distribution Index score of 257, Sumner Hill is easily at the top of the rankings of Mississippi’s public schools. Students in the ninth-grade far outpaced their peers statewide on the Algebra subject area test, largely due to the high quality of Sumner Hill’s teachers. We are proud of Mrs. Ard and her students, and honored to have such an outstanding Teacher of the Year.”

Belhaven stands among the select Christian colleges and universities that offer a unique general core curriculum encouraging the development of a personal worldview. The university believes a Christian worldview is a key to preparing men and women academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Founded in 1883, Belhaven University now serves over 3,000 students from campuses in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, Atlanta and online, offering traditional undergraduate degrees, graduate and adult degree programs, and online degree programs.