Jessica Barnes '05

From Community Leadership to Family Studies and Beyond

jessica barnesJessica Barnes, a 2005 graduate of the Thompson School of Applied Science’s Community Leadership program, credits her classes as an incredible learning experience that has led to her professional and personal success. Originally, Jessica was thinking about entering the Thompson School’s Applied Business Management program, but "…quickly became enamored with the CSL program that had just recently been developed." After attending the TSAS Open House, Jessica immediately knew that this program was the perfect fit for her and now believes that it was one of the best choices she has ever made.

Through her teachers, especially the program's founders, Tim Barretto and Kate Hanson, she was able to “grow as a student and as an individual." During her two years at the Thompson School she became part of the very small but intimate community of students who looked forward to attending class each day. The sense of community that she felt from everyone involved with the Community Leadership program was incredible and made her feel like she had made the right decision in choosing CSL.

After completing the two-year program and obtaining her associate degree in Community Leadership, she went on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies at UNH, where she specialized in the study of young children. In 2008 Jessica graduated Magna Cum Laude from UNH and believes that the CSL program was a key factor in where she is today. Jessica states that “The Thompson School taught me that I was able to be the kind of student that everyone always had told me I was capable of becoming.”

Currently, Jessica is working towards two Master’s of Education degrees in elementary education with a K-8 teaching certificate, and reading and writing with a certification through the state as a specialist at Southern New Hampshire University. She is also teaching kindergarten at Phillips Exeter Academy, where “Eighteen smiling faces greet me each day with a hug, and I know that at some level I am doing for them what Kate and Tim did for me. I’m teaching my students how to grow and how to accomplish their goals and that is exactly what I learned at the Thompson School.” From all that she has learned from the Thompson School and the Community Leadership program there is no limit to how high this notable alum can go.

Written by Current CoLead student: Amy Barry

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