Teacher Spotlight: Jenny Cockrill

Jenny Cockrill has the energy and enthusiasm of a first-year teacher, which is remarkable because she’s been teaching for sixteen years, fourteen of them at AGS. She is also very funny, and that comes in handy in the classroom.

Jenny has a masters degree in education from the University of Georgia. Reflecting on her father’s shared passion for education, she describes teaching as “in her blood.”

“You’re always glad to see us.” A student shared this sentiment with Jenny a few years ago, and it stayed with her as a reminder of how important it is for students, especially girls, to feel loved by their teachers. Jenny shares love with parents, too. If you catch her in the hallway, you’ll get a big smile, a warm greeting, and if she has a minute, a sweet story about your daughter — a few sentences to let you know your child is really special.

To observe Jenny teaching is an unforgettable experience. Her encyclopedic knowledge of the books she teaches is impressive, to say the least. Then there’s her ability to answer a question instantly in a way that connects with a student. This is a hallmark of a master teacher.

Jenny is also a keen observer of her students’ emotional lives, particularly the sensitivities of young writers. She takes great pains to respond to their writing in a way that is both constructive and sensitive. This is the trickiest part of an English teacher’s job, giving students feedback that keeps them engaged with writing and confident about their development as writers. She doesn’t like assigning a numeric or letter grade to writing because the process is complex, and the experience is intimate. Every year, she fine-tunes her rubric for grading essays so that they have more meaning for her students.

Jenny has a deep, heartfelt commitment to AGS and girls’ education. Since her daughter Annie Reid joined the AGS family this year (class of 2024!), the bond is even stronger.