February Alumnae Spotlight, Jessica Baker, Skip of 2004

In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now?
Someone once asked me where I learned to be a leader. The answer was simple.  I learned to be a leader at Ursuline. As a student, I was given many opportunities to work with others, lead events, and speak in front of groups. These experiences gave me confidence and skills that I still draw on today. At Ursuline, I learned to have the courage to take risks, the importance of collaboration, and the value of leading through service of others.
Please describe the most significant value you learned from Ursuline Academy.
The most significant value I learned at Ursuline is Serviam. The idea that we have more need to serve than to be served is a value that I have carried with me since my time as a student. The value of service that I learned at Ursuline, has given me the courage to see the world through a more compassionate lens. I have learned more about myself and about the world through my experiences of service than I have in any other context. It is this value that led me to volunteer abroad after college.  It is also this value that led me to pursue a career in education. My hope is that I am able to inspire future generations of Ursuline girls to truly live out our Ursuline motto of Serviam.
Describe Ursuline in one word. Explain.
I would describe Ursuline as unique. From our unique history to the unique qualities of each of our students, Ursuline is a school unlike any other.  

Jessica Baker graduated from Ursuline in 2004. She went on to graduate from Spring Hill College in 2008 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and a minor in Biochemistry. After graduating from Spring Hill, Jessica moved to Washington DC to serve as an Americorp volunteer. In Washington DC, she served as a nursing assistant at a medical homeless shelter. She then went on to volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps as a volunteer teacher in Belize City, Belize. While in Belize, Jessica spent one year working as a science teacher in the High School Division of St. John’s College and one year working as campus ministry and theology teacher in the Junior College Division of St. John’s College.  

Upon returning to the United States, Jessica decided to continue in the field of education. She received her Masters Degree in Education from Xavier University of Louisiana. Jessica has taught middle school science at Brophy College Prep in Phoenix, Arizona, and is currently serving as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Ursuline.  While at Ursuline, Jessica has taught Biology and AP Computer Science. Jessica currently serves as the leader of the Beyond Our Borders Service Immersion Program. She has served alongside Ursuline students in Guyana and Belize. She will be traveling with students this summer to serve in Ecuador. As Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Jessica has worked on advancing Ursuline’s STEM curriculum to include Project Lead The Way courses, robotics programs, and opportunities in computer science.