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Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

Welcoming a New Face to GHS

Ms. Smith Hired To Teach English All Year; Not Just Substitute
Avery Hansen
Jennifer Smith has been hired to teach for the rest of the school year. She came to GHS with more than 20 years of education experience.

Towards the middle of this semester, Jennifer Smith joined the high school, starting out as a long-term substitute teacher for English 10 CP and American Literature teacher John Morrissey. Smith is now fully hired to teach for the rest of the semester, along with next semester.

“Since it was a situation where it was immediate, and kind of an emergency thing, I think I thrive on that, almost like a challenge,” Smith said. 

On Friday, Oct. 13, an email from administration was sent out to Morrissey’s students and their parents. Then on Monday, Oct. 16, Smith was in room 148, ready to meet her new class. At first, she was just known as a long-term substitute until she was fully hired on Nov. 20.

“The superintendent and Mr. Mueller were really on board, too, and so that really helped,” Smith said.

With Morrissey’s resignation, administrators hurried to find someone to fill in before the three-day weekend was over. The head of Human Resources, Andrew Rinaldi, informed  Mueller about a teacher who had been substituting at Whitetail Elementary School who would be happy to fill in. 

“We got really lucky to have someone of Mrs. Smith’s quality to apply for the long-term job,” Mueller said. “Obviously, she was so good that we decided to hire her full time, and she fortunately accepted to do that.”

Smith has also had a long teaching career in many different places. First, she started teaching in Las Vegas. After that, she was an English teacher at Omaha Westside, then at a school in Macy, Nebraska, and next taught at Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebego. When she came to GHS, she had been in education for 24 years, but only teaching at public schools for the past 19 years. After this, she retired, but continued to substitute teach.

“It was kind of a semi-retirement for two or three years because I’m not old enough to retire fully,” Smith said. “It was because of my kids that I was fostering, who are now officially my kids, and my grandma, who turned 100 years old in January, is living with us too. I just needed to get all of that organized.”

Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Smith recently adopted the twin ten-year-old children who she had been fostering since January 2020. When the COVID-19 virus was spreading around that time, she said she thinks that she really got to bond with the kids. 

“A lot of my time now is spent on them, and I try to get them to do as many activities as they can, and I’ll volunteer to coach too,” she said

Smith has also been a coach for baseball, softball, basketball and volleyball, but she especially enjoys being a part of softball and baseball. For now, she is spending all of her time teaching and spending time with her kids. 

Becoming a teacher that comes in the middle of the first semester can be tough, but her students have already come to enjoy and rely on her, despite the fact that they miss Mr. Morrissey.

“I think she’s a great addition to our class,” sophomore Sarah Doble said. “She’s very funny, and she gets along with all of the students. I’m glad our class adapted to it so well.”


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About the Contributor
Avery Hansen
Avery Hansen, Social Media Coordinator
Avery Hansen is a sophomore at GHS and this is her second semester on the Gretna Media staff. She serves as a reporter. She is interested in journalism because she likes to write. Besides being in journalism she enjoys playing basketball, tennis and hanging out with her friends.

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