Jennifer’s Story

Jennifer Stauffer’s love of science blossomed in 5th grade when her teacher introduced her to prairie conservation, hunting for fossils and chemical reactions. In high school, Jen participated in programs at the Illinois Math and Science Academy and Byron Nuclear Station. She majored in biology, chemistry and physics at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and, after graduating in 2000, spent a year teaching organic chemistry and biochemistry labs at her alma mater — and absolutely fell in love with teaching.

While pursuing her masters in biophysical chemistry at Yale University, Jen tutored local high school students in chemistry and physics and realized that she would be happiest teaching high school science. She was offered a teaching position at the Hopkins School in 2003, the same year she earned her MA and was awarded the Knowles Fellowship. Jen earned her teaching certification in 2007.

In 2006, Jen designed the biochemistry elective in her school and enrollment in her course has since tripled. A “Master Teacher” at the Hopkins School, Jen mentors and supports colleagues new to the profession. She has chaired multiple committees for colleagues undergoing their 3rd year career review and has been active in formally restructuring the biology and chemistry curricula at Hopkins. Jen was awarded a Hach Chemistry Materials Grant in 2008. A 2008 Knowles alumna, she created and coached Hopkins’ first ever Science Olympiad Team in 2009. In April 2009, her team won 1st place at the state level and went on to compete at the National Science Olympiad in Georgia where several students earned medals.