Another new member of the Altoona staff is sixth and eighth grade computer teacher, Jennifer Clapper. Clapper teaches computer science to students for the first time in a public school.
Before moving , Clapper was an analyst at a software company. She also taught computers and gym at a Catholic school. She was inspired to move here because her kids play sports, and she saw that it was a nice school for her family to go.
“I’m familiar with Altoona and all the sports, so I was really excited to come here. It’s a nice school, so I’m really excited about it,” said Clapper.
Clapper was an undergraduate in Accounting and Information Systems at Virginia Tech, got a graduate degree in Information Science at UNC and a Master’s of Education at IUP. She had always thought about teaching, but only came to do it when she had gotten older and had kids.
“I had always thought about it when I was younger. It was just more as I got older and after having children myself, I thought it was something that I could get to,” said Clapper.
Clapper was inspired to teach so she could give back to the community. She also thinks it’s great to see students learn and become more independent.
“I just wanted to give back and hopefully inspire students in Blair County and Altoona to major in computer science and explore that as a career opportunity,” said Clapper.
Clapper’s favorite part of her job is seeing the students learn more and apply it themselves.
“I really love seeing the coding and seeing the students learn the new concepts, and seeing them being able to take the bits that I teach them and apply it themselves to create some really great games,” said Clapper.
The job is a reward to her and she thinks anyone who is planning on becoming a teacher should do so.
“It’s a rewarding experience, and they should strongly think about it. It really is great to see the students learn and just kind of become independent,” said Clapper.