By Derrick Smith
Teachers are a special group of people. They spend their days investing in the lives of children and helping them learn and grow. Jennifer White says that the kids are the reason she became a teacher.
“You will hear this from teachers over and over because it’s true for almost every teacher,” she said. “The students are why I show up every day. How cool is my job? I get to spend the day with energetic, future-focused people who still believe in their ambitions and are still willing to look for the best in humans. They inspire me, keeping me future-focused, too. Beyond that, SHS has the best faculty and staff, hands down.”
Jennifer teaches On-Level and AP Senior English at Stillwater High School. This is her eighteenth year to be at Stillwater, but she has been in education for twenty-six years. Before coming to Stillwater, she taught in Kansas at Leavenworth High School, Oskaloosa High School, David Brewer Elementary, and Lincoln Elementary. She says that teaching is something that just came naturally to her.
“I am a fifth-generation teacher,” White said. “I am assuming a DNA test would reveal I have a genetic predisposition for this role, and that’s just fine by me.”
Although she loves teaching, Jennifer says that the past year and a half or so have really been a trial for some people in education.
“Covid really tested the resilience of educators and their students,” she said. “I have been blessed to ride out this pandemic at SHS. There’s a special magic in that building that you won’t find anywhere else, and my heart belongs to the SHS Family, past, present, and future.”
When she is not investing time into the lives of students, Jennifer says she finds other ways to spend her time.
“I’m the most boring human on the planet,” she joked. “I work crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles, do needlework, and read voraciously–all while sipping hot tea and listening to classical music. I’m something of a Hobbit, fully content to remain in the Shire.”