Each fall we welcome a few new faces to the Darlington Community and we’re thrilled to introduce you to Jennifer Rundles, associate dean of student life and Upper School science teacher
Jennifer holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Tougaloo College and an M.A.T. in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix. She has spent 15 years at St. Mary's School in Raleigh, N.C., where she recently served as associate dean of students and science teacher. There, she also held the positions of interim dean of students and associate dean of teaching and learning. Jennifer is a member of the EdLeader21 Advisory Board, TABS Annual Conference Committee and has served on SAIS Accreditation Teams. She has also presented at the National Coalition for Girls School annual Conference and is an SAIS and TABS New Teacher Training faculty member.
Let’s meet Jennifer!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Stone Mountain/Lithonia Ga. area and Danville, Calif.
Tell us a little about your family…
Although I am here by myself in Rome I have a brother, Jason, and his family (2 amazing nephews Luciano and Eli and his wife Prima). My father Sam lives in Southwest Atlanta and I have extended family all over the Atlanta area.
Why did you choose to come to Darlington?
I decided to come to Darlington because of the energy that I felt when meeting members of the community. People were eager to grow and learn. This energy was so attractive and I wanted to have a chance to do great work as well as grow and learn with others.
Your seven word philosophy on education…
Learning is essential to the human design.
What makes a good teacher?
A good teacher creates a learning environment that is safe for a student to explore, accessible by all that are in the learning space, and engaging enough to inspire a learner to look beyond the surface. A teacher's role is to equip learners with the skills to navigate the world of today and the world of tomorrow. Equipping students with effective communication skills, a solid grasp on how to critically think about and approach experiences or problems, and how to engage and work well with others is at the core of what good educators do today.
What music is playing in your car?
Right now I’m listening to the Pandora station for Earth Wind and Fire.
What’s your favorite podcast?
TED Radio Hour
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
Dr. Richard McGinnis was my favorite teacher. He was my advisor in college as well as my first year chemistry teacher. He made chemistry accessible in such a way that after having his class freshman year I decided I would rather be a chemistry major instead of a biology major. He also held me accountable. Holding me accountable to my potential and the possibility of great work helped me reach for it more so than not. He reminded me of areas of improvement all the while being sure to remind me that I could in fact do it. He made opportunities seem possible versus impossible.
My favorite movie is…
“The Lion King”
What makes a good student?
A person that is curious and open to the possibilities. Also a person that is willing to lean into learning and growing and not get frustrated when it doesn't happen instantaneously every single time. It isn't about being great or perfect at any/everything it is about being open to being better than you were a few minutes ago.
My favorite trip was…
My favorite trip was a trip to Switzerland and Italy with students a few years back. I not only was able to explore a part of the world I had not had a chance to explore but I was also able to see it through the eyes of my students which made it so much more fun.
If I could travel anywhere it would be…
E-book or hardcover?
Beach or mountains?
The last book I read for fun was…
“I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown
The best advice I ever received was…
Sometimes the best and only thing you should do is laugh. It will always lighten the mood.
My hobby is…
Cats or dogs?
Only my friends know…
I suffer from second-hand embarrassment.
When I want to crush karaoke, my song is…
“Rock With You” by Michael Jackson
My favorite saying is...
Live with intention.