Making a Difference: Impact of science teacher extends beyond classroom

“I don’t know, I just work here,” is an eighth/ninth grade science teacher Jennifer Schultz catchphrase, but if you asked around Peet Junior High, many students would tell you that Schultz’s impact goes far beyond just punching in for another day at work.

Schultz is known for being really laid back and her wonderful teaching ethic, but don’t underestimate her. She can and will bring the hammer down.

She says that her teaching style was inspired from her own Junior High science teacher. “He always made me feel included and not awkward. He had a great sense of humor, and I really didn’t want to disappoint him, so I studied hard,” she said.

She said her favorite part about her job is that every day is different. “I love that I don’t go to work and expect the same thing.”

And she said she loves her students, even if they are wild, and her fellow co-workers make her experience even better.

Her plan wasn’t always to be a teacher. Her first dream was to be a chiropractor. Her plan was to take over the family business, but that changed when she she took a class in education.

Recently, the female population of Peet Junior High got together and had their own women’s movement. Sadly, Schultz, who is an avid feminist, couldn’t participate that day. but to make up for it, she wrote each of her female students an individual heartfelt message saying how much she appreciated her girls and how proud she was of them.

This definitely struck a chord among her students. Freshmen Jillian Gaines said, “I thought it was very sweet and kind, and I appreciate how she goes out of her way to let each one of us know we’re loved and that she cares about us.”

Freshman Natalie Huffman also said, “I think what Schultz did had a big impact on a lot of her students, not just this one time, but overall. That was something that hit me in a really hard way, and I was extremely thoughtful of her to take time out her day to do this. It was really empowering.”

It’s so amazing what one woman can have an effect on an entire school. Schultz has been teaching for 21  years, and we hope that she can teach 21 more.

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