Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Tigner

Jarnae HarrisFaculty Spotlight, Japonica, News & Events, Spotlight

National Lego Day with Mrs. Tigner.

rs. Jenna Tigner is the STEM lab teacher on the Japonica Campus. This is her second year working at St. Luke’s and her first year as the STEM teacher. She is married to Michael Tigner and they have two children. Hudson is in 1st grade and Ann Stewart is in K2 at St. Luke's. She is a native of Mobile, Alabama and went to St. Luke's from kindergarten through 8th grade (before St. Luke’s had a high school). She then went to Auburn University for undergrad and the University of South Alabama for her Masters in Elementary Education.

Prior to working at St. Luke's, Mrs. Tigner worked for the Mobile County Public School System for 8-years teaching third grade. When Hudson started K2 in 2018, she knew that she wanted to one day work at St. Luke's. After having Ann Stewart in 2020, her goal was to begin working for St. Luke's when she started K2, but God had bigger plans! She was in the middle of teaching a math lesson when her phone rang and it was St. Luke's. She immediately assumed it was Nurse Julie calling to report that Hudson was sick. Mrs. DeArmon was calling wanting to know if she would be interested in a position. Not knowing any of the details, she still said yes! It was only two weeks later that she began working at St. Luke's and says, “I plan on being here for many, many years! I enjoy working at St. Luke's because of the joyful atmosphere. I enjoy seeing the students every day, and the faculty and staff are loving and caring. I enjoy telling the students about my memories from when I attended St. Luke’s. This school holds a special place in my heart. You know St. Luke's is a wonderful place to be when you are now working with some of your former teachers such as Mrs. Gwin, Mrs. Banks, and Mrs. McKay. Every morning I am greeted with a smile from the wonderful Mrs. Sandy.

Mrs. Tigner’s work day in the STEM lab is never the same! She changes up the skill level depending on what age group she has coming in ranging from K2 to 5th grade. When her students walk through the door they become “engineers'' as well as creative thinkers and explorers. Since August she has seen so many students design and build many amazing and creative projects.

The goal for the STEM Lab is for students to be actively building, coding, collaborating, and engaging with STEM concepts all while learning to work together.One of her main focuses since August has been not just to build each class, but to learn “teamwork”. Teamwork is an important part of life outside of school. Working together with others that have different ideas and opinions is an important part of life. The STEM Lab is not set up like a typical classroom, she has round tables with flexible seating. Students can stand or sit, whichever they prefer. Each week they are in different groups working with different students within their classroom. She finds it important to not always be placed with your “best friend” so you can be you!

STEM Toys are Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math based toys geared towards learning, curiosity, and education. There’s a variety of different STEM Toys focusing on core disciplines in coding, engineering, chemistry, mechanical toys, and more. Some of the STEM toys that the lab has to offer are LEGOS, wooden blocks, magnetic tiles, Unifix cubes, Plus-Plus
blocks, foam blocks, engineering construction sets, and engineering fort building.

The STEM program provides a great variety of technology that is used within the STEM Lab and Computer Lab on the Japonica Campus. They have five blue bot robots geared for the youngest engineers on campus called Botley Robot iPad devices that are used for collaboration, content creation, coding, and 3-D printing that is used to design and create whatever their heart
desires. They also get to learn the basic typing skills that take place in our Computer Collaboration Lab.

With this being the first year of having the STEM lab on the Japonica Campus, Mrs. Tigner is excited to watch this program grow. Ultimately she wants to see students enjoy learning and take risks with whatever it is that they are creating. When students get frustrated building something and it either falls down or does not go as they planned, Mrs. Tigner reminds them that it is ok and to never give up, try it again and again until the final product is the way that you want it!

St. Luke’s is blessed to have Mrs. Tigner passionately inspiring, teaching and nurturing our students every day. We can’t wait to witness all of the great things she has planned for our Wildcats. Mrs. Tigner leaves us with one last thought, “I love everything about St. Luke's and what it stands for. Go Wildcats!”