Altus High School teacher Jennie McLeod has been with Altus Public Schools for 25-years and is working as the current senior English teacher.
“I am currently in my twenty-fifth year as an educator. All 25 years have been with Altus Public Schools. I taught kindergarten and first grade for 18 years, 7th grade English for five years. I am in my second-year teaching at Altus High School. This year I am teaching senior English. Last year I had freshmen and seniors,” said McLeod.
There are many reasons McLeod said she enjoys serving the community as an educator, but the relationships in the end are her favorite reasons for teaching.
“My favorite part about being a teacher is the life-long relationships I have with my students. I have been able to watch so many of them grow up and become successful,” said McLeod. “The most rewarding aspect of being a teacher is knowing that my kids are comfortable enough to come to me with any issue. I love to hear their stories about exciting things that have happened to them, but I also want to be there to help them through the tough times. We all need someone in our corner, and I get to be that someone for my kids.”
McLeod believes the community of Altus is a great place to raise a family and attend school.
“Altus is a unique place to live. It has a small-town feel without being a small town. The Air Force base brings in families from many different backgrounds and they bring in new perspectives and ideas. Altus High School is large enough that we can offer kids a wide range of activities so that they can find a place to belong. It isn’t so big that they get lost in the shuffle,” said McLeod.
Recently named Teacher of the Year, McLeod said it was a humbling experience to be recognized for doing something she loves.
“I am honored to receive that award. As teachers, we didn’t sign up for this job to receive attention. We signed up for it because we love kids, and we want to help kids. My hope is that I can make an impact,” said McLeod.
The proud graduate of Oklahoma State University, McLeod said she currently serves a Vice President of the local alumni chapter and returns to Stillwater as much as possible. McLeod grew up in a small town and said several teachers impacted her life.
“I grew up in a small town, so my teachers impacted my life in and out of school. I have two teachers from high school that really stand out to me. Ms. Elsener taught me English, speech, and was our yearbook sponsor. She was able to relate to high school kids so well. We always had fun in her class. My other teacher was Mrs. Porter, and she taught home-ec. She taught us about life! She did it with a smile and a laugh,” said McLeod.
She offers this advice to any student who may want to teach one day.
“My advice to a student that wants to become an educator would be to observe in many different classrooms. Don’t have your heart set on a certain age group because kids are kids. Every age group has its pros and cons.”