Jill has worked at FSMN since 2014. She studied education and child development as part of her Liberal Arts/English undergraduate degree at Illinois State University and received a Masters in Creative Writing from Hamline University.
"I grew up staring into the night sky in Illinois. I would position my bed in such a way that I could always see the moon while falling asleep and I decided it was a shame people had to sleep during my favorite time of day. I painted clouds on my ceiling and grass, ladybugs, and trees on my walls. I entered the Young Authors competition in 1st grade and, when I didn’t win a Nobel Prize as a result, I chalked it up to having been a clerical error. I always knew I wanted to work in education and imagined that I would end up with either my Littles, or with grown-ups. It was the in-between years that rather mystified me and it wasn’t until I walked into Friends School that I really believed elementary school could be so beautiful.
I studied education and child development as part of my Liberal Arts/English undergraduate degree at Illinois State University and my first real job out of college was working at a Montessori preschool in Minneapolis. (The gig as a Serving Wench at the local Medieval Times does NOT count, I’ve decided.) I continued working with preschoolers until graduating from Hamline University with my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, imagining I might like to write children’s books. I completed my thesis about how I chose the name Grael for my son, who is currently a 3rd grader at FSM.
I started working at Friends by basically filling in wherever I could and simply ‘hanging on with both hands’ (thank you for this entirely accurate phrasing, David.) I also worked as sub with St. Paul Public Schools and loved getting the chance to explore a wide variety of schools in the area. Friends School was always my absolute homerun, however.
I am thrilled to be able to be in the Jungle and Prairie this year and work with such amazing and brilliant students. I can’t help but smile the moment I walk through the door first thing in the morning and that is even BEFORE I’ve consumed the entire carafe of coffee that I pretty much constantly have tucked in my armpit. Thank you for allowing me to be here!"