By Derrick Smith
Growing up, kids look up to their parents as role models and examples for their life. While they may not follow exactly in their footsteps, the impact that they make on their kids life is never-ending. Jill Klein is a teacher at Ponca City High School and she says that her parents gave her some sound advice when she made the decision to enter that field.
“My parents are retired teachers,” she stated. “One piece of advice that they gave me was to not let any kid slip through the cracks. Growing up I watched them make a difference in the lives of all their students, regardless of athletic ability, GPA, income level, or who their parents were. I want to have a classroom like that, where every student knows they are valuable and capable of great things.”
Entering her fourth year as a teacher, Klein will be teaching Pre-AP Geometry to freshmen, Geometry to sophomores, and AP Calculus to seniors. While she enjoys teaching, she says that impacting students’ lives is her favorite part.
“I love almost everything about my job,” she said. “I am a math nerd through and through, and I actually think solving problems is fun. I love the challenge of putting together lessons that are effective and interesting. Most of all, I love my students. I love getting to know them and trying to figure out how to help them succeed.”
Though her parents had an influence on her life, Klein says that there were a couple of other teachers that made a difference in her life.
“I was blessed with so many outstanding teachers from elementary through college,” she stated. “Mr. Preheim was my sixth-grade teacher. He told us jokes every day while he pushed us to excellence. Mr. Begnoche, my band teacher, not only taught me to play and love the flute; he also gave me leadership opportunities while always being such an encourager.”
Jill is married to her husband Tim who is an engineer for Phillips 66. They have two children, Gabe who is a sophomore at Oklahoma State Univeristy, and Bethany who is a senior at Ponca City.