“I love working at WUHSMS because the teachers and the community care so much about education. It’s something that makes me excited and proud to come to school every day, whatever my capacity is. The team that we’ve compiled—I’m really excited about our administrative team—there’s a lot of energy, and we’re excited to use the skills continue to be a growing and successful organization.”
Jennifer Stainton is no stranger to the WUHSMS community (she was named Teacher of the Year 2016-2017, among other accolades) and this year she will enter into a new role on the Leadership Team as curriculum coordinator, responsible for all curriculum, assessment and instruction for grades 7-12. “My role is to facilitate the implementation of proficiency-based grading and refine our practices to proficiency. My hope is to provide clarity and common practices around proficiency-based grading and practices to support teachers as they do that important work—to ensure equity and opportunity to all students in our school.”
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Arlington, Virginia, Jennifer was raised by two federal government bureaucrats. Her father was a lawyer for health and human services and her mother also worked in human services. “I think they instilled in me a value for public service.” After graduating from the University of Richmond, she lived life on the KīlaueaVolcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where she worked in volcanology for the U.S. Geological Survey. “From interacting with the public in Hawaii where volcanoes are in the national park, I realized teaching was something I was enjoying, and I loved science.”
Jennifer likes to think on the big picture scale and on the smaller grain-sized scale. Using the big picture reasoning provides context for her students to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing on a smaller scale. “It makes the other stuff more meaningful and more sense, and we can implement things easier.” She worked in the D.C. area and then made her way to Vermont to The Sharon Academy, where she taught for five years before, having twins and then returning to teach at WUHSMS, where she has been for nine years.
“I’m in public education to make sure we have the best quality education we can for all students. The challenges that we face are countless therefore its meaningful work.”
University of Richmond, Virginia—B.S. Biology; George Mason University, Virginia—Masters in Secondary Science Education; University of Vermont—Doctorate in Education Leadership and Policy
Favorite Food: Fried shrimp and fish tacos with lots of fresh salsa and cilantro.
Favorite Book: Ain’t No Makin’ It by Jay MacLeod; Lord of the Flies by William Golding; 1984 by George Orwell; and the Little House on the Prairie series.
Summer or Winter? Fall because it’s beautiful. It’s fleeting and because as a career-long teacher I’ve never been able to steep myself in fall. I only get to experience it in little pockets, and it’s precious to me for that reason.
Favorite Thing to Do When You’re Not Working: For the past five years, I’ve filled it with finishing up a doctorate, so when I’m not at school I’m going to school and learning. Spending time with my two daughters and husband, running, volunteering at High Horses with my daughters, gardening.
100 Amsden Way
Woodstock, Vermont 05091
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