For this Dean of Studies, It Adds Up to Finding Solutions!

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George Katchak, Staff Reporter

A Florida native, Trinity Dean of Studies Mrs. Jennifer Browning H’06 has a wealth of teaching and administrative experience. Starting at Trinity in 2002 as a mathematics teacher and becoming Dean of Studies for the Academic and Traditional Programs in 2008, Mrs. Browning also taught in Florida and North Carolina. She discussed her passion for teaching and finding solutions.

Q: Was there a specific moment that motivated you to become a teacher? 

A: I had great teachers my entire school career. By the time I was in fifth grade, I knew I wanted to teach.

Q: How do you connect what you teach in the classroom to the real world?

The best way to connect what you teach to the real world is to know your students and what their reality looks like.  If you know what is real to them, then connecting the two is easy.

Q: You taught at St. Martha for two years. How does teaching in middle/elementary school differ from high school? 

The students, the teachers, the facilities team – they want to be a part of something special and by being a part of Trinity they are what makes it special.  I guess I love the people of Trinity.”

A: In some ways teaching at the high school level is easier than middle school because high school students are more independent.  I have taught in Florida, North Carolina and Kentucky and the difference is Trinity, not the grade level.  Here teachers are allowed a certain level of autonomy to create classrooms that are engaging and reflect our style.  We are pushed to not do the same thing year to year but to constantly grow and recreate to meet the needs of our students.  It is the most student-centered school I have ever taught in.

Trinity Dean of Studies Mrs. Jennifer Browning (file photo)

Q: What would be your best advice for Trinity students struggling due to this pandemic? ​

A: Do not allow yourself to be a victim of what we cannot do in a pandemic; rather control what you can, and be your own light.  Find safe and healthy ways to interact and engage with your family and friends.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of teaching at Trinity and why?  ​

A: I love the positive energy the students bring to the campus.  I love the way we accept each other and our differences.  I love the spirit! Oops, that was three things. Sorry!

Q: What has been the toughest aspect of teaching during this pandemic? ​

A: I so miss being able to physically pat someone on the back and say great job or I know you can do this.  I need to see smiles and eyes that tell me they understand.  I hate being tethered to a computer, calling to students I cannot see and sometimes cannot hear.

Q: What motivated you to become a Dean of Students? ​

A: I love being behind the scenes and finding solutions to problems.  It gives me a chance to help students, families, and faculty.

Q: In what ways is the administrative side of education rewarding?

​A: The most rewarding thing for me is when a student, parent or teacher just says, “Thanks, you made a difference.”  It might sound corny, but I really do love problem solving or planning an event so things run smoothly.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? ​

A: I love being around my grandchildren and travelling with my husband.  We enjoy golfing and seeing new places.  Being from Florida originally, the beach is usually an annual destination.

Q: Why is Trinity special? ​

A: It is special because everyone that is here wants to be here.  The students, the teachers, the facilities team — they want to be a part of something special, and by being a part of Trinity, they are what makes it special.  I guess I love the people of Trinity.