DES welcomes back retiree, Jenkins

It’s a face that is not new to Lee County School District (LCSD). Veronica Jenkins taught for 18 years in the district and retired before accepting her new role as English and Language Arts Interventionist at Dennis Elementary School (DES). The elegantly poised deportment of Jenkins screams teacher, while her voice is but a hush as she carries out her duties. 

What you will hear her say is how amazing the journey has been thus far. Coming out of retirement in 2019 to help DES in improving test scores was a call she readily accepted.

“Lee County is the first and only place I’ve ever taught. Therefore, I feel like this is my second home,” says Jenkins. “I love the children. I love the teaching and anytime I was asked to come back, if I feel like I can do a job that’s going to help the children; that’s what it’s about.”

Jenkins graduated high school in 1971 as a member of the first integrated graduating class in Sumter, S.C. It was a time when parents were involved in the day-to-day functions of education, she says. It’s a time she would love to see again as it relates to parental involvement.

“Our parents were there for us. They told us what was expected of us,” says Jenkins. “When we had meetings, you had your parents there.

When there was something important to be said about your education, parents were there. Parents are the first teacher.” 

She fully expects her intervention to enhance parental involvement. Her high expectations of herself and that of others for her led to Jenkins earning two masters of education after having received a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. She was named LCSD’s Teacher of the Year for the 2013-14 school year. Jenkins assumes various leadership roles for programs such as Professionals’ Day, the Author’s Tea, and Honors Day. 

Service, particularly customer service, has literally been Jenkins’ life work. Before entering education, she was the manager of Friday’s Beauty Supply and a Cashier for the Market Express. Her church affiliation allows for even more service. Jenkins teaches Sunday school, is an usher and supports the sick-and-shut-in at her church.

Jenkins and her husband, Jimmy, have two sons: Jimmy Jenkins, Jr. and James Price. They are the proud grandparents of 9.