Alumni in 5
Jenn Penn '10
Education-Elem Middle Teaching, Health and Physical Education
Washtenaw Alliance for Virtual Education/Advisor and Teacher
1. Tell us about your journey since graduation.
Two months after graduating, I got married and moved to Belleville. I spent eight months substitute teaching until I fell upon an hourly job in its pilot year that started as an online mentor and in-person lab help for at-risk high school students called WAY. I have now been at this job for 12 years, and have become a full-time teacher and advisor helping students in a secondary options program we created called - WAVE. I have also spent the last year on a planning committee of 4 planning, organizing, and creating a secondary middle school option for 8th grade. Beginning in the Fall, I will be teaching Math, SEL, and Health in the middle school as well as advising my team and teaching PE and Health in the high school. In addition to the teaching portion of my job, I also have a side job as the janitor at our school. Outside of school, I have a mini cookie business called "Cookies by Jack's Mommy", have taught Lego camps, and was a travel agent selling Disney trips. My husband and I have 2 boys - Jack (9) and Jamie (5). We live in the country and have a small farm with two donkeys, 13 goals, several chickens and ducks, barn cats, two indoor cats, four dogs, one bird, and a guinea pig.
2. Share a favorite Grand Valley memory.
My best memory would be studying abroad and teaching in South Africa in my last year of school. My first class at Grand Valley was taught by Dr. John Kilbourne and he made it every student's mission to take advantage of the opportunity, so I did.
3. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Keep doing it your way and the way that works for you, follow your gut. ~ Almost every PE teacher at Grand Valley when I would do things a different way than recommended.
4. List three words you would use to describe your Grand
Personable Long lasting friendships Peppino's
5. What difference would you like to make in the world?
I want the students I teach who slipped through the cracks in their traditional schools to know their worth and put it out into the world.
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