Jennifer Blaine grew up in the town of Paradise, California that is now famous for burning down a little over a year ago on her birthday. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a minor in zoology. She has been a part of this Promontory community since the beginning. All 5 of her children either attend or attended this school. She owes much to Promontory for their love of learning.
Jennifer has spent many hours at Promontory. She has volunteered as a parent helper since day one. She served on the school board for five years. She has been employed at Promontory as an aide, a substitute teacher, an intervention specialist, and now as director.
It is hard to pick a favorite from all the wonderful things about Promontory. Jennifer love's the expeditions that help students learn deeply and apply subjects to real life. She loves the fieldwork that gets students outside of our building to learn, the new explorations that the 7th and 8th graders have started this year, and the strong arts program Promontory provides for students that she feels is crucial to their education. She loves Promontory's healthy and yummy lunches, the amazing librarians who keep reading interesting and rewarding and Promontory's kind and wise approach to discipline using restorative justice. She loves our parent volunteers who without we could not have everything else in the this paragraph. She loves our teachers and aides and staff who are her friends and who work harder than anyone she knows. But her favorite thing about Promontory is the kids. They are the light and energy and reason Promontory exists.
Jennifer and her husband love adventure. Their favorite adventure so far has been raising our kids. They also love the adventure of learning new things, of traveling, and of enjoying the great outdoors. In the winter you can find Jennifer cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the mountains. In the summer she hikes and enjoys finding warm water to swim in.
Gwen Andrus has been learning and teaching most of her life. As a child she would round up anyone who wanted to learn anything and create an impromptu classroom. Everyone was expected to learn something and everyone was expected to teach something too. After receiving several degrees and honors, she still follows this philosophy and is thankful to find a school where, "We are crew."
Gwen started her official teaching career in Provo, Utah. While working, she adopted three children born in China and sponsored three other children by paying for their education. She established the Mei Ming foundation to ease the discomfort of children growing up in orphanages, and she wrote state and national curriculum.
In order to care for her aging parents, Gwen moved with her young family to Sacramento, California. While there she taught public-school students and then helped build a new private school based on children's developmental processes, hands-on learning, multiple intelligences, and cultural literacy. For the next eighteen years she was a teaching principal and continued to create curriculum, teach, and run the school with a gifted and creative staff.
Gwen is delighted to be teaching and learning at Promontory. She sees the unique gifts and strengths of the students, the talented and dedicated staff, and the passionate parents as key factors in the wonderful adventure that is PSEL. From the very beginning of her life, our planet has brought Gwen great joy and peace. She looks forward to sharing this part of the journey with you.
"I am still learning." Michelangelo (age 87)