As part of our ongoing series Meet Our GDS Faculty and Staff, we are excited to present: Meet Jana Rupp!
Read the Q&A below to learn more about Jana.
Primary Role: Middle School Instructional Coach
Years at GDS: Five years down and two-thirds of the way into year six!
What do you love about GDS?
I appreciate the passion and engagement of our students and community, as well as the overall mission of our School.
Why do you do your job?
To expand on the physical goal of One GDS, I appreciate being able to build connections between colleagues and the work they are doing in and out of the classroom. Additionally, I enjoy celebrating the work of our phenomenal teachers and being a thought partner with them to enhance the experience for our students.
A favorite part of your job?
One of my favorite parts of my job is planning lessons and projects with teachers and seeing the work come to fruition in the classroom. I especially enjoy when we can create the opportunity for students to think critically and expand their perspective of the world.
Your work style in three words?
Dedicated. Passionate. Reflective.
Other GDS activities or roles that community members may not know about?
I'm a part of the Let's Get It Right Task Force, the group for teachers leading a collaborative approach to ensuring females and students of color thrive in mathematics in and beyond the DMV. I’ve also had the opportunity to coach the MS Math Club, to facilitate MS Math Mentoring, and to sponsor the MS Enviro Club.
A top hope/wish for your students and/or colleagues?
My hope for our students is that they enjoy the process rather than the product. The journey is often more fascinating than the destination.
When I have free time, I enjoy visiting museums, especially art museums and galleries, discovering new restaurants that have gluten-free options, and being active both outdoors and at the gym. I also like to read or listen to books, podcasts, and newspapers.
A few favorites…?
One of my favorite recipes to make in the winter is guacamole with pear and pomegranate seeds.
A family tidbit…?
When my family and I travel, we like to joke that we are killing time between meals, as we typically plan our next meal when we are eating. Depending on where we are, the time between eating might include anything from hiking to visiting a museum. Last fall, we visited a virtual reality experience called War Remains at the World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
One thing about yourself your students/colleagues/others probably don't know?
One thing people may not know about me is that I lived in China 20 years ago.
One thing on your life "bucket list" you've already accomplished?
Interestingly, even though hot air balloons took off from the lot adjacent to the school where I worked in New Mexico—and I attended the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta multiple times—I never actually took a balloon ride in New Mexico; however, I did finally get the opportunity to ride a hot air balloon in California several years ago.
One thing on your life “bucket list” you have yet to accomplish?
I would love to go hiking in Patagonia in the future.
With a tip from Jana, we reached out to hear what a colleague had to say...
Middle School history teacher Kate Maloney and Middle School science teacher Louise Micallef teamed up to share their thoughts about Jana. They said, “Jana makes our community a beautiful place; she's someone who loves what she does and it emanates to those around her. She helps foster connections by checking in on people's weekends, work, and vacation plans. A consummate professional, she works with teachers, helping them break down standards-based grading and how it can be meaningful to the kids. In her role as an instructional coach, she listens carefully, then works with the teacher to boil it down to the heart of the matter and provides faculty with multiple, ready-to-go resources. She is also a 'foodie' and can give fantastic recommendations for yummy treats at different local establishments. Finally, she makes a mean batch of homemade popcorn with a secret ingredient. We are still trying to get her secret recipe out of her!”