Golden Key Spotlight: Jessica King
When we think of our teachers, we often think of kind, passionate joy-bringers, but you realize teachers represent so much more than that when you think beyond the surface level. Teachers are strong people. One of these strong teachers is Jessica King.
Jessica earned her master’s in Educational Psychology-assessment and learning in 2020 from the University of Alabama. She previously earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Athens State University.
“I was drawn to this major because it encompassed everything I love learning about. I was always reading and drawn to articles on the learning process itself and wanted to find a degree that added to my current knowledge while expanding that knowledge in a challenging way,” Jessica reveals.
Like most teachers, Jessica is filled with love and passion for her job. Teaching is not just a career but a way of life for her.
“The best part of my day is the love I get from my students, the support and fun supplied by my colleagues, the ability to easily participate in my faith and witness my own children’s school accomplishments and activities first hand,” she says.
Jessica joined Golden Key in 2019.
“Golden Key was the first honor society that I became a member of,” she says. “Becoming a member gave me validation for my hard work and effort I had put into my schooling. It also gave me confidence and pushed me to continue to aim high.”
Jessica exemplifies the strength needed to be a teacher; as she was teaching, parenting and studying for her master’s, her husband was diagnosed with Leukemia and, later on, Lymphoma. Through it all, Jessica kept her head up and found the strength to carry on.
“The Lymphoma required chemotherapy, and I was able to navigate and balance work, school, parenting and wife through all of this. It wasn’t easy, but my faith, prayer, and my children helped,” Jessica admits. “I graduated in the top 15% this past December shortly after my husband’s one year in remission.”
One of Jessica’s toughest challenges in her career was balancing her and her son’s relationship when she was teaching him in second grade.
“It took a while and a few setbacks, but once the school year really got rolling, my son and I were able to be teacher-student during school hours and mom-son after. I knew we were doing well when it took a new student over a month before she realized he was my son,” she says. “It was difficult, stressful and challenging in every way, but my son and I both grew so much from the experience. I am happy for it.”
Jessica’s children are an essential part of her life, and she credits her determination and grit to them.
Jessica says, “My children are my motivation and inspiration because I know that by modeling for them what it means to be a good student, or to work through stressful times that they will strive to achieve good grades and overcome any challenges they themselves may face; later in life.”
Along with all the challenges in Jessica’s life, her strength never wavered, and she continues to achieve greatness.
“Having my family watch me graduate was one of my greatest accomplishments, and I hope that it helped inspire them to pursue a good education as well,” says Jessica.