Jennie Grigas joins the English department


photo by Miles Hayford

English teacher Jennie Grigas

by Miles Hayford

Veteran English teacher Jennie Grigas joined Nazareth’s English Department this year to teach World Literature and Advanced Placement Literature and Composition. 

Grigas comes with much experience. After graduating from the University of Iowa as an English major, Grigas went on to teach English at a wide range of schools including the College of Dupage, Neuqua Valley, Hinsdale Central, and for the last three years, Wheaton North. 

What led Grigas to teach at Nazareth was its reputation for being a tight-knit community. When she heard about the unique environment at Nazareth, she was drawn in because that aspect of a workplace is really important to her. But she knows that community doesn’t only benefit teachers, it also helps students be successful.

Grigas, who loves seeing her students grow and find success, thought that Nazareth would be a great fit for her because of the stories she heard about people thriving here. “It just really aligned philosophically,” said Grigas.

Among Grigas’ hobbies outside of school are seeing live music, going out into nature, hiking and biking. Some of her favorite bands and musicians are Wilco and Andrew Bird. 

Spending time in nature hiking is one of her favorite things to do; in fact, she and her family traveled to Glacier National Park this past summer. They went for 10 days and saw lots of wildlife like black bears and big horned sheep. 

Grigas and her family hiked a total of about 30 miles while there. The high point of the trip was hiking to a spot that had an elevation gain of about 2,500 feet. At the culmination of the hike, they were able to view the entirety of the park. Grigas said, “It was super cool, definitely a once in a lifetime experience.”

So far, the year at Naz has been going great for Grigas. She loves all her classes and colleagues. Of her hopes for the rest of the year, she said that she wants to continue to get acclimated to Nazareth and to keep meeting new people outside of her classes. “I teach all seniors, so I want to know kids from other grades, too,” she said.

Grigas is very excited for the rest of the year, and the Nazareth family is certainly excited to have her become a part of the community.