Henselin resigns after 20 years


Lizzy Scharpf, Writer

English and drama teacher Jennifer Henselin is resigning after 20 years of working at Oshkosh North.

“I’m seeking a healthier work-life balance. The [teaching] job has changed a lot in twenty years, and while I have been blessed to fulfill my childhood dream of being a teacher; I feel overwhelmed by everything that comes with the job,” Henselin says. 

While she will lose summers off at her new position, she hopes the change will let her have more time during the weeknights to help on the family farm.

“I will be exchanging my summer where I’m there all day in the summer to being there more after work year round,” Henselin says.  

Henselin has already accepted a position at Goodwill where she will be overseeing the school-to-work programs. 

Henselin has taught many classes  at Oshkosh North. Henselin has taught Theater Productions, Creative Drama, Drama for life skills, English 3, English 2 Honors and classes for the  Encompass program. She also directed and coached the forensics team at North for fourteen years. 

Henselin particularly enjoyed school spirit through dress up days. One of her fondest memories is when she and five other teachers dressed up as a homecoming court and screamed, “Vote for Johnny and Audrey” through the halls. 

In 2007, Henselin again showed her strong school spirit by shaving her head during a halftime basketball game in order to raise enough money to purchase a mascot. Known as Sparty, the mascot will soon be replaced by the funds raised through the Communities Program’s Chili Cookoff.

Although Henselin had lots of fun over the years, she can also remember the embarrassing points. 

“You know when you get a new pair of pants and there is that sticker down the back of your pants? I taught for three hours before someone told me the sticker was still down the back of my pants,” Henselin says.

While being able to laugh at herself, she also shares some valuable advice for students. 

“Be your true self, no matter what. A lot of students are trying to fit in when they are meant to stand out and be themselves. Embrace who you are…love it, and live it out loud.”

Henselin hopes her decision will inspire her students in the future if they find themselves facing a difficult decision in life.

“Some day [students] might be at that crossroads, and they might remember, ‘She did it, and she was okay doing it.’ I believe change can be really refreshing and restorative to the soul, and I think we all need to be brave sometimes and go through it.” 

For those teachers who remain, Henselin offered parting words of advice.

“I’ve been very lucky to have colleagues that I can also call my friends, so thank you to them for loving and supporting me. It’s important not to do everything alone all the time. My greatest advice would be to see each other and remember there are other people who are just as busy and sucked into what they’re doing, and everyone is trying and doing their best.”