English Instructor, High School
Jess is a 2002 Literary Arts Perpich Alumnus. She earned her BA in Eastern Religious Studies & Literature from Northern Arizona University, then began working on her MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College in Vermont. During the required teaching practicum, Jess realized that her heart was meant to be a teacher. She earned her teaching license in Communication Arts and Literature and MA in Educational Leadership from Augsburg College. For nine years, Jess taught IB Design at Anwatin Middle School in Minneapolis while serving on the SEL and Equity teams, and leading Professional Development for IB Educators in Minnesota.
Twenty years after she graduated, Jess finally came back home to Perpich where she currently teaches three different courses: Popular Culture & Communication (POP COMM), Analysis & Criticism (A&C), and 24th Century Debate. In POP COMM, students develop their abilities to describe, interpret, analyze, evaluate, and question the complex ways in which artifacts of popular culture shape our world through public speaking. In A&C, students explore films of all genres from around the globe and through the ages, then through an intensive continuous feedback process, each week students write (and revise) formal, critical essays for each film. In 24th Century Debate, students are introduced to the study of philosophy and rhetoric, then identify ethical dilemmas presented in episodes of Star Trek, and engage in formal speech and debate formats.
She is beyond thrilled to help cultivate and raise up the next generation of Perpich students.