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A Look Back

A Look Back

As a freshman at Denison University, I was majoring in biology with plans to become a doctor. But after spending the summer as a counselor at Red Arrow Camp in northern Wisconsin, I realized that I love to work with kids. From there, the trajectory of my whole life changed. When I went back to college in the fall, I walked directly into the education office and signed up for the teacher certification program. I remained a biology major but was no longer on the pre-med track. And I started to love my classes, because learning as much as I could in college meant I would have more knowledge I could share with kids. That was powerful for me.

After graduating from Denison, I taught at two independent schools before coming to USM in 1987. During my 35 years at USM I have served in a variety of roles, including teaching and coaching both Upper School and Middle School students. I’ve also held administrative roles, including dean of students in the Upper School and director of athletics. But, teaching is my true passion, so in 2000 I dedicated myself to teaching 7th grade science, where I’ve been ever since. I have always enjoyed Middle School because I’m kind of a middle school kid myself, and I just understand them. No two days are ever the same. I’ve loved it.

Kip Jacobs

As I approached the end of my 44th year of teaching (35th at USM), however, I realized I wanted to make a change. So, starting this fall, I will serve as USM’s outdoor education coordinator. I’ve been doing experiential education involving the outdoors for years, so this is a natural fit for me. I’m excited to work with teachers in all three divisions at USM and see how I can help incorporate the outdoors into their curriculum. Whether working with Preschool kids on animal habitats studying honeybees or helping Upper School students research global issues involving the environment, I’m looking forward to helping out as much as I can.

I’ve seen first-hand the changes that have impacted education during my four decades as a teacher, and USM has done a wonderful job of making sure that we stay on the cutting edge of academics and technology. But we’re also dedicating ourselves to the revitalization of our 125-acre campus by removing invasive plant species and creating outdoor habitats to study and research. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring.

Kip Jacobs ’74 came to Milwaukee Country Day School (one of USM’s predecessor schools) as a 5-year old kindergartener in 1961. He and his wife, Jill, have three children: Rob ’02, Brad ’04, and Kyle ’08.

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