ODENTON, Md. (WJZ) – A dance teacher at Arundel Middle School has been named Maryland’s Dance Educator of the Year by the Maryland Dance Education Association (MDEA).

Jenny Mossburg was selected for the award after making an exceptional impact on her students and her school’s dance program over the last ten years that she has worked there.

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“Without her dedication and making students first and looking out for her program, this would never have been possible,” said Nicole Deming, dance teacher specialist for Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

The award is given every year to a dance teacher who is a positive role model that uses several different teaching methods, plans innovative learning experiences and carries out a balanced and sequential curriculum.

“She’s one of my favorite teachers,” said seventh grade student Grace Lower.

Mossburg has built a reputation among students as someone who is inclusive, understanding, passionate, kind, supportive, and comforting to her students both inside and outside the dance studio.

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“This is where I belong to give them that place of belonging,” Mossburg said.

Mossburg says she struggled in middle school herself and found that dance really helped her succeed. Now, she is helping her students out.

“Even if things are crazy out there, they have that place in here where they can be themselves and they’re accepted no matter what,” she said.

Seventy percent of students at Arundel Middle School take dance, which is an elective class.

The program has grown under Mossburg’s tenure and now has three full-time dance teachers and one part-time teacher.

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“She is a light to all of her students,” Deming said. “Both future, present, past and she leaves an imprint to last a lifetime.”

Stetson Miller