Music teacher, Pillar Falls Elementary School, Twin Falls
Jazlyn Nielsen may be a first-year teacher, but there’s one hurdle she won’t have to overcome: getting to know the community. Nielsen — who will teach music at Pillar Falls Elementary School — was born and raised in Twin Falls.
“My family has been here for over 30 years,” she said.
Her last name may sound familiar if you’re plugged into the dance scene. Her family owns Nielsen School of Dance.
This summer, she’s teaching a couple of dance camps — one for 9- to 13-year-olds and several princess-themed ones for younger children.
“My whole life I’ve been a dancer and into music,” Nielsen said. She’ll incorporate dance into her Pillar Falls music classes.
By mid-June she had already gotten the keys to her new classroom and had been there a couple of times.
During her last year of college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Nielsen applied for several teaching jobs in Twin Falls and one in Kimberly.
“I had some communication with Kimberly, but most of those were in Twin Falls,” she said.
“I was focused on coming back here,” Nielsen said. “I really loved growing up being around the Twin Falls School District.”
As a child, she attended I.B. Perrine Elementary, Morningside Elementary, Vera C. O’Leary Junior High and Twin Falls High.
Nielsen attended Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Wash., where she received a scholarship to play basketball. She served in student government her second year and earned an associate degree in general studies.
After that, “I took a year off and moved back to Twin Falls,” she said. She had decided to become a teacher but needed more money for college.
Nielsen was a substitute teacher for a year in the Twin Falls district and enjoyed it. “I really saw how committed the teachers were and the staff.”
Then at BYU she earned a bachelor’s degree in education.
Nielsen started filling out job applications in late February to early March — that’s normal now but would have been unusual a decade ago. She started interviewing for positions in mid-April, including five elementary positions in the Twin Falls district.
Special classes such as music are an outlet for children and a chance to relieve stress, she said. Plus, “I really thought it would be a great way to impact a lot of students in this community.”