Socrates once wrote, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”  My second grade teacher, Georgia Docherty, understood this well.  She taught us about authors…every month.  One Saturday, she organized a class field trip so we could meet one: Tomie DePaola.  That was the Christmas season of 1991, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  We went out to eat at McDonalds and I got a mermaid in my Happy Meal from the movie Hook that was in theaters.  We went to Barnes & Noble to see Tomie and then over to the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium on the Campus of St. Thomas to watch Tomie’s play, Merry Christmas Strega Nona.

Sometime during that school year I fell in love with books.  A flame was lit in me and it has not burned out.


Please enjoy this article written for The Monticello Times by my childhood friend and fellow second grade classmate, Meghan Gutzwiller.  She beautifully writes about the publication of my book, Walking with Tension.

In a Pinewood Elementary School classroom in the early 1990s, second grade teacher Georgia Docherty kindled a spark of passion for books in her student, Jennifer Hill.

The class did author studies on notable children’s authors like Eric Carle, Tomie dePaola and Leo Lionni. They went to meet dePaola and watch a play based on one of his books, read many books by each featured author and wrote their own books, sewing them together so they were bound like ‘real’ books.

These units interested Hill so much that when it came time for the class to do a project on their future careers, she already had her mind made up that she wanted to be an author as well.

Read More….http://monticellotimes.com/2014/03/07/mhs-grad-realizes-dream-of-becoming-an-author/