Jensen’s journey

Building Substitute Jensen balances working at both McHenry campuses with her education.


Lily Adams, Contributing Writer

As the final minutes of the period tick away, Miss Kayleigh Jensen mentality prepares for her next class. Knowing she’ll have to make the voyage from Freshman Campus to Upper Campus, she locates her car keys. Jensen then shuts her computer. New York University assignment is her recent open tab. Her college work will have to wait as the bell rings and she bids farewell to the class. Jensen travels as a substitute teacher to both campuses. Through this, Jensen, a former student turned teacher, can build relationships with students here at McHenry and focus on her college degree, both being very important to her.

Jensen herself is a McHenry High School graduate from eleven years ago. A major change she sees in McHenry now is the respect for teachers. “People like to forget that teachers are people with emotions,” Jensen commented. Although the school is much different from when she went here, Jensen enjoys the nostalgia of returning to her high school.  

Communication and trust with students is something very important to Jensen.“I like to create that space [to make students feel safe],” Jensen exclaims. Making students feel heard and loved is special to her. “Life is hard…” Jensen admits. “And you don’t know what anybody’s going through.” Her kind deeds do not go unnoticed by students and staff at MCHS. “She tries to build a friendship and not just look at us like students,” rejoiced sophomore Addie Bacon. Her dedication to students is incredibly appreciated. 

The happiness is mutual in the class when Jensen is subbing. Mchenry students rejoice when she is substituting. “When she’s a sub she makes me feel welcomed,” exclaimed Janielle Rios.

Jensen enjoys the opportunity to work at the school she once graduated from. “I love that it’s full time, I’m here, and I get to know everybody, ” she stated. Though Jensen is passionate about her job, she does not plan to be a sub forever. She is currently working towards a professional writing degree at NYU. She also has a passion in the media arts.¨I really like the media space- I’m really into podcasting right now..if there’s a way I could combine the media and the teaching I’d love to!¨ Jensen reveals. Jensen plans to graduate this May.

Many students enjoy having Jensen. Her care-taking in students makes them feel welcomed and loved. From graduating at McHenry to pursuing her college education, Jensen plans to continue to pursue her passions within the following years.