New Teacher Spotlight: Jessica Minton

New Teacher Spotlight: Jessica Minton

Mallory Carty, a writer

Jessica Minton

By: Mallory Carty


Starting the 2016-2017 school year, Houston High School was fortunate to receive fourteen new teachers. The Pony Express interviewed new teacher, Jessica Minton. Ms. Minton’s responses have been edited for clarity.


PE: Where did you grow up and go to High School?


JM: My father was military so I was born in Texas on Lackland Air Force Base, but moved to Japan where I went through Elementary School.  We were in Utah when I started high school.  I went to Northridge High School in Layton, Utah.


PE: What did you enjoy studying or participating in in High School?


JM: I have always loved science classes and studying how things work.  When I was in high school, I played the Bass Clarinet in the three bands, was Treasurer in FHA (now known as FCCLA), active in my church’s youth group, and was in Girl Scouts from the time I was in Kindergarten until I graduated high school.  I earned my Silver Award as a Sophomore and helped get every leader and Senior Girl Scout get CPR/First Aid certified, then I earned my Gold Award as a Senior and implemented reading incentive programs into two elementary school sped programs.


PE: Where did you go to college?


JM: I went to Roane State Community College for an AS (transfer degree with a concentration in science), Maryville College for a BA in Biology for Teacher Licensure, University of Tennessee in Knoxville for a MS in Science Education, and Lincoln Memorial University for an EdS in Curriculum and Instruction.


PE: What did you study/participate in in college?

JM: I was the Treasurer in the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Tri Beta Biology Honor Society, sang soprano in Voices of Praise, worked as a tutor and computer specialist in the library, played Clarinet in the Marching Band for two years, worked as the Magazine Specialist at a Books-A-Million, worked third shift at hospital in the ER and was an intern in the Great Smoky Mountain at Tremont.


PE: Do you have any children and/or pets?


JM: I have a 5 year old daughter named Ellie who is in Kindergarten at Riverdale and a baby boy named William who was born in February.  We have three cats named Misha, Gru and Olaf (yes…we like the Minions and Frozen).


PE: Have you ever taught before? If so, where and for how long?


JM: I started my teaching career from January 2009 until May 2013 in Jefferson County at Jefferson County High School.  When we moved to the Memphis area, I taught 6th grade science at Grandview Heights in Fraser, then I moved to Riverdale Elementary before moving back to high school.


PE: What’s your favorite part about Houston High?


JM: What’s not to like??  The students are fantastic and make teaching enjoyable, the atmosphere is one that is inviting and my colleagues are helping make my transition back to high school smooth.


PE: What’s your favorite part about being a teacher?


JM: Following my dreams and helping my students achieve or find their dreams and interests.


PE: What would you be doing if you weren’t teaching?


JM: I don’t really know, I have wanted to teach since I was in Kindergarten and the few times I have looked at something different I did not like the outcomes.


PE: How is working at Houston different from what you’ve done before.


JM: The GMSD schools have created an atmosphere that engages every level of stakeholder and that leads to a successful school system.  The environment at Houston is one of excellence and compassion.  The teachers understand that the success of every student is more than the few teachers who have them on a daily basis.