In 2017, Ms. Mathews was a finalist for the NEA Social Justice Activist of the Year Award, and she is the 2018 Michigan Secondary English Teacher of the Year. Along with those honors, she is the 2018 National Council of Teachers of English Teacher of Excellence Award winner for Michigan, and the 2018 National Sanford Award Winner for one of the most inspirational teachers in the country.
Jessyca has two published books, Simply: A Collection of Poetry, and 318: A Chubby Chick's Tale of Weight Loss Surgery, a playwright of Appointments, a blogger on Teaching Tolerance and has written in Nia Magazine and The Mighty.
She was recently featured in Time Magazine in the October 2018 issue speaking out on issues that affect teachers. She has spoken at both educational and national conferences around the country on the importance of having a creative classroom and her continuous work in activism.
Jessyca's focus in life is to be an example of a world change maker for her students and her community and strives to be a prime example of an educator of color for those who will join the profession.