Jenny Leaper - The opportunity of education
Jenny Leaper is passionate about the importance of teaching, having spent much of her professional life as an English, French and History teacher in a wide range of classrooms – from a co-ed middle school in North Carolina where she “learned to love teaching”, to prestigious schools in Melbourne’s suburbs including Loreto Mandeville Hall and Carey Grammar.
“I really think it’s important we give people the opportunity to enter such a fantastic profession,” she says.
“I’m a great believer in giving kids opportunities to learn and I really want to make sure we get good teachers into our schools. Hopefully this scholarship will encourage people to consider teaching who perhaps weren’t considering it previously.”
Mrs Leaper credits the University of Melbourne with giving her the opportunity to become a teacher, and develop skills that have carried her through life. As the first in her family to attend university (thanks to the support of scholarships for both her undergraduate degree and her teaching degree), she knows first-hand the importance of offering young people the chance to pursue higher education.
“As a recipient of scholarships myself, they opened doors for me and enabled me to get more education than I ever thought I would,” she says.
“Although my career isn’t in teaching now, it was my big opportunity. Now I want to give other people the chance to have those amazing experiences with their students and those light bulb moments that you never forget.”
A proud University of Melbourne alumna, Mrs Leaper has strong family connections with the University; her husband and three daughters also count themselves among its alumni. In particular, she is excited by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education’s new approach to teacher education in the Master of Teaching, and keen to offer her support.
“I think what education here is now doing is so amazing and I’m delighted to now be a part of it,” she says.
The Jennifer Duggan Leaper Scholarship will offer one University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts graduate studying the Master of Teaching a scholarship of approx. $10,000 per year for the two year duration of their studies from 2014 onwards. This scholarship will be offered in perpetuity.