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Know Your Pelicans

Meet Jessica Pippin (she/her)

Upper School History Teacher

Know Your Pelicans

What are your impressions of Packer so far? Our students? Your colleagues?

I continue to be impressed by the students' curiosity and passions. They're always finding ways to pursue their interests and learn more about the world around them. And my colleagues are wonderfully supportive and brilliant — I'm always learning from them!

What do you teach? What is one of your favorite parts of the curriculum? 

I teach 10th Grade U.S. History and two electives—Democracy in Action and The History of Now. I enjoy any part of the curriculum in which students research a topic of their own choosing because I get to learn more about what interests them and why.

Why do you teach? What do you like about being a teacher?

I initially wanted to work in museum education, but needed a job after graduate school... A former colleague connected me with a school leader, and 6 years later, I'm still teaching. 

Although I accidentally became a teacher, honestly it's the perfect fit. It's never boring. I get to talk about what I love. And I learn so much from my colleagues and the students. It's the most engaging and challenging job I've ever had—in the best way!

Outside of your job at Packer, what do you love to do?

I love to bake—I love the preciseness required in baking, but also the space for creativity and experimentation. It's fun and gratifying when you've made something that brings joy.  

I also love to volunteer at cemeteries. I'm fascinated by public and death history—there's so much these spaces can tell us about the past. They're underappreciated, beautiful, and full of incredible history. 

What makes your job especially rewarding?

Anytime a student shifts their attitude towards history from one of dislike to one of appreciation, that's always a win.

Besides your subject, what's something you hope to teach your students?

I hope my students walk away with real curiosity and a keen interest in the people and the world around them. Everyone has a story, and it's our job as historians to try to tell them.

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