I became a teacher because I love learning and I wanted to help young people expand their understanding.”

Jennifer’s Story

Jennifer Legendre grew up in Pittsburgh where she attended Mount Lebanon High School. As an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, Jennifer was passionate about mathematics and science, especially problem solving. “I wanted a career that would allow me to share my talents and my joy for figuring out problems.”

After graduating with a degree in physics, Jennifer got her first teaching job at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. Teaching, she realized, was a much more difficult endeavor than being a student. As a new teacher, she struggled with the complex balance between classroom management and sharing knowledge. She wanted to do better and applied to become part of the very first Knowles cohort.

After winning the fellowship, Jennifer attended George Washington University in Washington D.C., earning an MEd in secondary science education. In addition to the formal training that graduate school offered, Knowles boosted Jennifer’s confidence in teaching by giving her multiple opportunities to meet with other fellows. She also benefited from Knowles summer professional development: the Arizona State University Modeling Workshop Jennifer attended in the summer of 2002 impacts her view of teaching physics to this day. A 2007 Knowles alumna, Jennifer credits the foundation with giving her the insight to view teaching as an art as well as a science.