Feature Teacher



Suzanne Jacobson/Roundup

Windy Jones

Name: Windy Jones

School and subjects taught: English at Payson High School

College degree and major: Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Arizona

Years teaching: 2

Why do you teach? As a student, I absolutely hated to stand up in front of the class, so it was only natural that I’d become a teacher. Seriously, though, after a year-and-a-half, I can’t really imagine doing anything else, unless a good babysitting job for a rock band opens up.

Personal motto / words of wisdom: To borrow the words of Transcendentalist Theodore Parker: “The books that help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading, but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.”

Family: My family basically consists of my parents, who still reside in Payson, my sister, who is an accomplished bug nerd at the UA, one cat, and a bus named Bonnie Abbzug.

Pet peeve: Hypocrisy, complacency, pretentiousness and grammatical errors.

Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Music, hiking and recycling. I’d add reading, but as an English teacher, that would be too cliché.

Person in history you’d most like to meet and why: I’d like to pretend to be Charlie Rose and interview Ed Abbey, Kurt Vonnegut, Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain at a round table.

Why Payson? Returning to Payson meant teaching alongside my wonderful and patient mentor Anna Van Zile, and I find it easy to relate to my students. Also, while I grew to love the desert around Tucson, I was raised in the Pacific Northwest and am more at home amongst green trees and mountains.

In school, who was your favorite teacher and why? I’m indebted to Anna Van Zile, who has taught me for nearly 10 years now, Jerome Lubetz for his dry humor, and James Quinlan for proving that it’s cool to make lists and obsess about books. Also, I must add that my students teach me every day.

What was your favorite subject in school and why? Actually, I enjoyed just about all of the subjects in school, but ultimately I found English, and particularly literature, the most interesting and enriching.

What was your favorite year in school and why? I suppose my senior year of high school was the best, simply because I took AP English and College Prep Reading at the same time. I read a lot.


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