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EHS Pillars - Fall 2016

PILLARS - The Episcopal High School Magazine www.ehshouston.org

Q+A with

Q+A with EHS Teachers Pop Quiz turns the table on teachers and asks them to respond to 13 quick questions. Their enthusiastic responses reveal the values, quirks, and interests that make them so effective in leading EHS students. 28

JESSICA ADAMS English Teacher and Coach Jessica Adams grew up in New York State and attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's in English and a master's in English Education. This is her second year of teaching at EHS, and she teaches English II and III. When she is not in the classroom, Adams can be found on the athletic fields, serving as head coach for both the girls JV field hockey and lacrosse teams. She lives in the Upper Kirby area with her husband, Jeff, a professional football player, and dog Sammy. Although New York City holds a special place in her heart, she is proud to now call Houston her home. What's on your playlist right now? Mostly Classic Rock with a sprinkling of awful pop music (think Ke$ha, Flo Rida, etc.). What was the first concert you attended? Maroon 5's "Songs About Jane" tour at Jones Beach Theater. If you weren't a teacher, what would you pick for a career? From a young age, I had aspirations of attending culinary school to become a chef. Preparing food at that level requires such skill, precision, and creativity. It would be exciting to be able to express myself in that way. My desire manifests itself through recurring dreams in which I am a competitor on Chopped. What is your proudest accomplishment? My ability to adapt to change. Growing up, I never imagined leaving my family in my home state of New York; living in multiple cities over the past several years has pushed me out of my comfort zone and awarded me amazing opportunities for growth. Do you have a favorite app or tech gadget? Recently, I downloaded the Headspace app on my iPhone as a somewhat half‐baked attempt to get into meditation. So far, I have been using the app almost daily. My favorite feature is the meditation for sleep—the guided progressive muscle relaxation has transformed my nightly bedtime ritual. Which pro or college sports team do you cheer for? Columbia Football. It's fun to root for my alma‐mater, the perennial underdog. Simply put, we no longer hold the record for longest losing streak in college football! Roar, lion, roar! Did you have a mentor growing up who inspired your career? My junior year Precalculus teacher, Mr. Faraci. He helped me realize my talent and potential in mathematics, a subject in which I lacked all confidence. He was a fierce advocate for his students with a passion for math that was contagious. What's your favorite city abroad? Venice, Italy. I enjoy meandering along the seemingly endless bridges and waterways with a scoop of gelato in hand. The romantic, haunted feel of the city, with its lack of cars and gothic architecture, transports you to a different time. If you could travel back in time, what period would you choose? The Progressive Era through the mid‐1920s. How cool would it be to witness the ratification of the 19th amendment? Also, a part of me wishes that I was a member of the Lost Generation. Maybe I could hang with Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Stein in a Parisian café. What trait do you most admire in your colleagues? Their commitment to the students. Every day, I am in awe of the tireless work they put in to reach each student and help each student realize his or her potential. That level of passion and love inspires me to do my best. What trait do you most admire in your students? Their growth mindset. My students are unafraid to take risks as they pursue their passions across the Four Pillars. I am inspired by their desire to challenge themselves, as well as their willingness to embrace failure as a vehicle for future success. Read any good books recently? I am about half‐way through Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. It is a long, dark novel with a protagonist who frustrates me greatly; however, sometimes good literature should be a challenge to get through! If you could eat only one meal this week, what would it be? A toasted poppy seed bagel with cream cheese and lox. Ideally, I would also be sipping on a large coffee, enjoying the weekend newspaper. 29

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