Return to Headlines

Jackie Vandegrift (Sandy Ridge Elementary)

What do you teach and why did you become a teacher?

I currently teach fifth grade at Sandy Ridge Elementary. I have been here since 2014 via the Participate Learning program. Before that, I was a teacher in England for students ages 9-13. Being a teacher is something I always wanted to do, mainly due to the teachers I had growing up that encouraged me to believe I could achieve anything I set my mind to. I wanted to be that person who could encourage other children to feel the same way about themselves.

How do you show your school spirit?

I show school spirit by joining in on spirit wear days, by taking part in PTO events and by letting people know how proud I am to work at Sandy Ridge.

What or who inspires you?

It is difficult to say one individual has inspired or inspires me. Working in education has provided the opportunity to meet people I wouldn't usually meet. I see parts of them that make me want to be a better version of myself. We learn and improve by imitating the best parts of others.

In which other teacher’s class would you like to enroll for a day? Why?

I would like to enroll in a sixth grade teacher's classroom to see the progression from elementary to middle school here in America.

What is one of your hidden talents?

Exposing my students to many different aspects of British culture throughout the day without them realizing it. Teaching them about the world by including personal anecdotes in my teaching.

If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share?

Make every moment count. 

What is a professional motto or quote that you “work” by?

 "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." –J.K. Rowling

What do you enjoy most about working in Union County Public Schools?

What I enjoy most is the people I work with and the support from our school family.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I would like to be able to understand what my dog is thinking!  

List five adjectives that describe your personality?

  • Friendly
  • Flexible
  • Hardworking
  • Resilient
  • Imaginative