Ms. Cantrell: A Glimpse Into the Life of A Staff Member


All of the teachers of ICS are loved and one can never thank God enough for giving them to the school. They dedicate their time, work, and energy to educate students and help them all become the best person they can be. While teachers do much for the students, what about the staff members? What do those people in the office do to help the school? We may not be aware of it, but it’s usually the people who work behind-the-scenes that help make the school what it is today. We don’t take notice of them, because we don’t see them very much, but they are vital to our school being a school. Ms. Jennifer Cantrell, properly called Ms. Cantrell, is one of these people and is one of the most important people working behind-the-scenes of the classroom to help our school to be the best it can be.

Mrs. Cantrell was born in Georgia, US, and has an older brother. When she was young, she and her family moved around often in Georgia, but they never left the US. Though born into a Christian family, her parents were new Christians still growing in their faith and raised her and her brother in God’s ways as best as they could, but it wasn’t until her freshmen year that Mrs. Cantrell accepted the Lord. As a young adult, she became a teacher and taught third grade at a school in Georgia for three years before she moved overseas. While going on a mission trip to Brazil, she learned about international Christian schools, of which ICS is a part. She applied to teach in South America, but there weren’t many schools available there. After thoughtful consideration and much prayer, she went to Singapore and came to ICS, where she has been for seven years. She started off as a 4th grade teacher and halfway through the year, the school administration needed someone to help with circular work and activities so she was picked and has been doing so ever since.

Mrs. Cantrell has many jobs, and there are four main areas to her job. Firstly, she is the Circular Director and helper to Professional Development (PD). For curriculum, she purchases textbooks, looks over unit plans for teaching, and ensures the school’s standards are being taught to students. In the realm of Professional Development, she assists in helping teachers grow as educators, to learn new ways to educate in the classroom. This area of her job is on more of a personal level than the others, as it helps her to get to know all the teachers at the school and find ways to reach out to students. She also works with MAP Testing from k-8th grade, where she organizes the schedules, sets up the test itself, looks at the results, and discusses with the ICS administration how to help students succeed. She does Accreditation, where she helps the school accreditation so students who graduate here at ICS can apply for college in the US, This involves tracking progress on improvement plans and requires a lot of documentation and paperwork. She even has to write a full report on our school which over 100 pages, for the Accreditation Team when they come to check on how our school is doing.

Ms. Cantrell also leads Student Council, which has she been doing for the last two years. This allows her to bond with the students and get to know them, which she loves. She serves as one of the team leaders for Week Without Walls, as she wants more direct involvement with the students. She gets everything organized for the trip and makes certain everything is in order. She also helps Ms. Bandy with atheletics, going to all of her sporting events. She works wth Ms. Den Hartog, whom she is good friends, and they design the ESO’s so students would know what the school expects of them. She does all of these things for the students and by helping their teachers in so many ways, she helps each stduent in an indirect way. She plays an important role in the students’ education by making sure all of their schedules and activities are planned and organized, so they know that they need to do and where to go. She works hard in her job and is very passionate about making ICS the best school that it can be.

Ms. Cantrell is a very cheerful, fun, and social person. She is nicknamed ‘Summer Jenn’ by her friends for the fact she is full of energy, goofy, and never fails to make them smile. She loves being with people, especially the students as she doesn’t get to see them often. She really loves it when they come to her office in the afternoon to hang out with her, that’s her favorite part of the day. “She really likes to invest in people,” Ms. Den Hartog, the Middle School Principal, says. Ms. Cantrell is particularly fond of children and, having taught 4th grade in her first year at ICS, she knows how students and teachers feel. She can be strict, but once people warm up to her, they soon realize she is kind.. She is always trying to be positive, even when her facial expressions say otherwise. Ms. Cantrell is very supportive and an outright honest person. “She comes to all my sporting events, even though she doesn’t have to, to support me as my friend,” says her long-time friend, Ms. Bandy. She always speaks her mind, even when people think she shouldn’t say something honest, she still says it. She is fun to be around and is a optimistic person.

Ms. Cantrell likes to paint, color, and do pottery. She is artistic and paints pictures with Ms. Den Hartog which they hang in their offices. She also likes to walk and play with her dog, Brooklyn, whom she has had for five years. She takes Brooklyn everywhere whenever she can, and everyone who lives with her knows how close the two are. She is also a very good cook, particularly in making Mac and Cheese, so she cooks for Ms. Bandy, Ms. Den Hartog, and Ms. Stucky. The four of them are really close, and they hang out together like High Schoolers do watching comedic movies and play tennis, though not technically the right way, but more for the thrill of it. Ms. Cantrell likes to joke around be sarcastic with her friends, always trying to relieve them of stress. She is also yearns for the knowledge of God and His Word, and she helps her friends by praying with and encouraging them. She reminds them that God is in control and holds them all accountable if she believes what they say or do isn’t honoring to The Lord.

Ms. Cantrell does so much for the school and is a joy to have around. She is very passionate about her work and will always be there if anyone needs any help. Her office is open to the students if they want to come and talk to her about school or just to get to know her better. She is very flexible due to so many obligations she has to attend to, yet she always has a positive attitude. She is hardworking and dedicated to the school and wants to invest in everyone. Though working behind-the-scenes of the classroom, she is always there for the students and wants to help them succeed in life. She also there for the teachers, too, and should they need anything in the classroom, she will do all she can to help them become good educators. Ms. Cantrell is a joyful person and wants nothing but the best for everyone.

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