Upon entering high school, I knew I wanted to be a mathematics teacher but did not realize the impact a teacher could make by empowering their students. Mr. Howard taught Algebra 1 standards but also transformed his students into student teachers. Through deliberate practice, guided struggle, and challenging course work, I developed my understanding of mathematics and become a teacher leader. Mr. Wagner also challenged my abilities as a student and improved my attention to detail. By validating student work and celebrating multiple paths to solving a problem, I not only began to think differently but could also see connections between concepts and standards.
With the help of fabulous teachers like Mrs. Leonard, Mr. Howard, and Mr. Wagner, I entered the field of education and happily remain there. I believe every student can learn. I am still learning too!
I believe every student can learn.
I am still learning too!
As the valedictorian of Leesburg's class of '77, I have a fierce pride and allegiance to Leesburg High School and so does my family. My brother graduated before me, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins have graduated after me. Most importantly, all of my children graduated from Leesburg High School, and the first of the next generation, my great nephew entered LHS as a freshmen this past school year. I cannot imagine teaching anywhere but LHS and cheering for the Fighting Yellow Jackets!
I must admit I love the study of mathematics. I am in awe of the precision and completeness as well as the simplicity and complexity in mathematics. I want my students to see how different areas of concepts fit perfectly together. We look for patterns and make connections to see the sense and order. There is nothing like the thrill of when a student “gets it!”
My love of teaching goes beyond mathematics. The relationships we build within the classroom and school community make school our happy place. My students see someone who loves her job, accepts and loves all students, and is willing to go the extra mile to help them. The love of teaching and mathematics extends to my family as well. Three of my children are also teachers.
Robbie Jerkins is a former youth minister turned math teacher. Currently, he teaches mathematics at Carver Middle School in Leesburg and helps coach the LHS softball team and a travel softball team. He graduated from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Rebecca Jerkins is a kindergarten teacher at Hsinchu International School in Hsinchu, Taiwan. She has also spent time teaching in Dusseldorf, Germany, in Leesburg, Florida, and in Shanghai, China. She graduated from Abilene Christian University and enjoys traveling as much as possible.
Anthony Saincilaire is a physical education teacher and football coach at Lakeview Centennial High School in Dallas, Texas. He became part of our family when he was a senior at LHS. He played football in college and graduated from Bacone University in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Ross Jerkins is a college student, planning to earn his degree in radiologic technology at Marion Technical College. He enjoys playing adult league softball. Ross played soccer and tennis and was a percussionist in the band at Leesburg High School.
My husband, Forrest Jerkins, is also invested in the community and education. Forrest is a private practice dentist, and we have been married 36 years. He is an elder in our church and currently president of his Rotary club. He volunteers at St. Mary’s Free Dental Clinic and sponsors many Leesburg students in their extra-curricular activities, such as band, sports, robotics, and Mu Alpha Theta. He even finds time to help me and my students in my classroom! In our spare time, we enjoy traveling, playing cards, and cheering for our favorite sports teams.