The mid-term school holidays marked the passing of Jen Green, a teacher of Mathematics at Mundaring Christian College (MCC) who had also taught at Swan Christian College (SCC): Junior Campus in her early years at SCEA.
Jen’s funeral was held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Maida Vale with approximately 450 people filling the church and the accompanying room. Among the number were ex-students, current and former SCEA staff and a host of friends and family who came together to remember the amazing joy and vibrancy of a woman who valued every person she came into contact with.
Jen began at SCEA in the days of Midland Christian School in 1995 before the school moved to Middle Swan to become the SCC Junior Campus. She met her husband Les at Teachers College in the 1970’s then married and travelled extensively before settling down as ‘the pastor’s wife’ at the church in Maida Vale. It was here that families experienced her ability to lead Sunday Schools, counsel people of all ages with a sense of optimism and wit and cook, bake and cater for occasions both great and small.
With her strong pastoral heart and outstanding ability to teach Mathematics, Jen’s prowess caught the eye of newly-appointed Mundaring Christian College Principal Terry Myers, who asked her to travel ‘up the hill’ to teach Mathematics and Christian Living to his growing school on Walker Street.
Ex-students and colleagues present at her funeral spoke of her uplifting spirit and a terrific sense of positivity each day around the College: ‘Today, there is so much to thank God for! Let’s really do this well!’
Jen had a broad academic knowledge that came from a voracious appetite for reading and interacting with people of all types. When Jen’s husband Les was studying at Theological Colleges in both South Africa and Canada, the family developed life-long friendships with colleagues and church members of all nationalities. Les and Jen also travelled the length of Africa in a VW Kombi before settling down to have a family of four children.
Jen could chat with anyone and make them feel at ease in any situation. She could encourage them to pursue their dreams, seek after God’s calling on their life or simply make them smile with a funny story of what had happened to her earlier in the week that was sure to make you laugh.
She had the ability to contrast the no-nonsense approach required for a busy Year Nine class with a more relaxed demeanour in the staffroom at lunch or recess. As such, she was greatly appreciated both by high-achieving academic students and young people with low self-esteem who loved her encouraging words. Senior staff often remarked that Jen’s classroom was a model for young teachers to observe and learn from.
After husband Les passed away in 2001, Jen continued to dedicate her time to her four children, grandchildren, church and students at Mundaring. A number of ex-students spoke of free tuition in break times and out-of-hours, a dedication to differentiate lessons for the diverse levels of students within her classroom and her ability to bring the best out of students in their teenage years.
A longtime SCEA staffer and colleague of Jen remarked that:
‘Jen made every situation better.
A three-day bus ride with a rowdy group of Year Seven’s to Sydney/Canberra was bearable, even enjoyable, with Jen on board.
She had the ability to make the most mundane of situations fun, and her humour and comedic take on every situation were always uplifting.’