Meet the Teacher: Jenny Nate, Niles High School

Educators are perhaps the greatest population of unsung heroes in Berrien and Cass County This school year, Leader Publications will publish a weekly spotlight featuring teachers throughout the district, giving the community a chance to get to know the hard-working individuals shaping their children’s lives. Answers will be published in the newspaper that serves your school district. Please feel free to answer as extensively as you please.

Please email completed questionnaires to news@leaderpub.com by no later than Sept. 7, 2018. Questions can be directed to (269) 687-7700.

Name: Jenny Nate

School: Niles High School

Grade(s)/subject(s) taught: 9th English, 9th Advanced English, College Writing (12th grade), Creative Writing (12th grade)

Where did you attend college? LMC/Western Michigan University.

How many years have you been teaching? How many years have you been with your current school? I have been teaching for 16 years and here at Niles for 16 years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I am passionate about reading and writing, and I had an outstanding English teacher when I was a Niles High School student which inspired me to come back and work with children to instill that same passion and love for reading and writing.

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? I enjoy spending time with my family and my dog, coaching volleyball and spending time with my players, working out, running, swimming, and reading.

What is one thing your students may not know about you? I played volleyball and basketball on scholarship in college.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice.” She is loyal, complex and stands up for herself and her beliefs.  Elizabeth goes after what she wants in life and follows her own vision despite the opinions of others. She is one of my all-time favorite heroines. 

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your favorite hobbies? My favorite hobbies were playing basketball, volleyball, softball, horseback riding, reading, and working out.

How would your co-workers describe your teaching style and personality? Intense, passionate, assertive and motivational.

Who is your biggest role model and why? My biggest role model is my mom, who is the hardest working person I know, and my three kids, who make me proud and are my biggest supporters.

How has education changed in the last 10 years? The integration of technology has changed education and provides immense new opportunities. 

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue growing academically? Please encourage your children to read constantly, and foster a love for reading. Take them to the library and Barnes and Noble.  Model reading, read together, and make time to help them find books that interest and inspire them. Hold them accountable for being responsible for their learning and for pushing themselves to always give their best effort in and out of the classroom and throughout their daily lives. Encourage them to work constantly on personal development, setting goals, and taking action.

If my students learn one thing this year, I hope it is… to go after what they want in life, to know that anything is possible, and that reading, and continuous learning, are the keys to success.

This photo was taken during homecoming spirit week.

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