Gillman prepares for new position at Timnath Middle High

Maelyn Barber, Staff Writer

In a class of 44 students Jessica Gillman cannot be found front and center, instructing as you would see in some typical classes. She’s standing on the sidelines, cheering on the students who are leading the class.

This is how Gillman has spent the last 10 years at FCHS, encouraging students to lead, working with special education students as an integrated services staff member, teaching math, and guiding the Student Council as an adviser, and working to build an FCHS community.

This will be her last year at the school, as Gillman will transfer to the new Timnath Middle High School (TMHS), beginning next fall as an integrative services teacher. 

TMHS will have 600-800 students, and will house grades 6 through 10, and Gillman said this will be her first time working with middle schoolers. But that is not the part she is nervous for. 

“I’m nervous about the overall new job, and the new community and new people,” Gillman said. “I think that students are going to be great no matter what age.”

She will be teaching several different integrated classes, not just math as she does now, and hopes to play a part in student leadership, such as Student Council. Gillman also wants to create new relationships with her coworkers and students.

“It’s always been about the people for me,” she explained. “Having a Student Council and working so closely together with all students, we really become a family.”

Her colleagues credit Gillman’s success at Collins to her accepting spirit and open mind. 

”She believes that everyone is welcome;” science teacher Dakota Johnson said. “She never lets her emotions drive the group and she never challenges people to be anything but themselves.”

Gillman said that while she is looking forward to this new opportunity, she will miss her students, coworkers, and the community they have all worked hard to create at FCHS.

“We are a really supportive team that takes care of each other,” she explained. “I will miss those daily interactions and the laughs that we have because that is what keeps you going.”

In preparation for the new position Gillman has started building relationships with the TMHS Implementation Team. This team is composed of staff already hired for next year, and working on the planning process of starting the new school.

She also plans to observe other integrated service teachers in the district, specifically those who work in middle schools, in order to learn about what her new job will truly look like. 

“All I’ve known is Collins,” Gillman said. “This is the only school that I’ve ever taught at, so I think it would be good to gather some more information about different ways to do it.” 

As Gillman moves on to the new school she will be missed.

”I’ll definitely miss all the leadership she’s shown me because she’s been an influential part of my high school career,” Co-chair of Student Council Anne Winn said.

Gillman has made an impact on the FCHS community. Though she is anxious about her new role, she feels ready to experience whatever comes next, and she is preparing to make it a success.

“Stepping into a new job, a new role, a  new team is exciting,” Gillman said. “But I’m nervous because I want to make sure I’m doing the best that I can, and that I’m bringing my A game.”