Charles Jenness ’10
“Eagle Hill was the one and only school I had ever attended where I felt like I didn’t have to explain myself. Before Eagle Hill, either my parents or I had to go to every teacher and explain exactly what I needed and what the best way was to teach me. When I arrived at Eagle Hill, I automatically started doing the same thing. I was shocked to discover that no explanation was necessary. Every teacher understood exactly how I learned and the best way to teach me.”
Charles Jenness ’10 exemplifies courage every day when he goes out on the front lines as a paramedic for his local community. Jenness has spent years learning and growing as a young professional to perfect his craft, but his journey involves one of the most impactful years of his life, his year of school in Hardwick, Massachusetts.
“I always struggled academically throughout my time in public school. That struggle became most apparent for both my parents and me in high school. By my junior year, I was getting mostly Cs and Ds in all of my classes and I was miserable. My grandmother knew (longtime EHS faculty) Norma Shields and she recommended to my mother that we look at Eagle Hill as a possible place where I could go to summer school between my junior and senior year of high school to get me some extra help. I attended the summer program and absolutely loved it. I was actually accepted to the school for my senior year of high school, and that’s what I did.”
Though only a student for a summer and his senior year, Jenness made the most out of his opportunity at Eagle Hill School, which set him on a path of continuous learning and growth, and most importantly, made him a member of a community who supports him every step of the way.
“The faculty at Eagle Hill are amazing. There wasn’t a day that went by where one of the faculty wasn’t checking in to see how I was or if I needed any help with anything to make sure I wasn’t struggling. I never had to actively search for a faculty member if I needed help, they always just knew. I think that is one thing that is unique to Eagle Hill. I would like to give a shout out to Dr. Michael Riendeau and Mrs. Diana Mackiewicz who were my biggest supporters and cheerleaders while I was at the school and even to this day.”
Since his time at Eagle Hill, Jenness found his calling to help others when they need someone the most.
Starting off by going to EMT school and then working full-time, Jenness became fascinated with the profession and invested himself and his learning through helping others. In looking to continue his path, Jenness went back to paramedic school, which requires more extensive training than traditional EMTs, and as fate would have it, began teaching in paramedic school to younger trainees.
What was once a daily struggle in the classroom had now turned into a career.
Long term, Jenness is focused on continuing his education and doing what he loves.
“I have two different ideas for what I want to do long term and have not quite decided which one I want to pursue. The first is to stay working on an ambulance long-term and continue to pursue my education to eventually get a job administering education for EMTs and paramedics at an ambulance company. I also am very interested in working on a helicopter as a critical care paramedic. Even beyond that, I would be interested in either going to medical or PA school one day.”
The passion that Jenness possesses is admirable in an industry that can have critical moments each day. Even in the fast-paced world of being a modern-day hero to many, Jenness thinks about the seemingly little things from his time in Hardwick.
“I think when I look back, the biggest thing that I learned at Eagle Hill that has helped me today is that I learned how to write effectively. You wouldn’t think that there is a lot of writing involved in my field, but there is, and now that I am back in school it is an even bigger help.”
“To all of the amazing Eagle Hill students and those who are thinking about joining the community in the future, use your time at Eagle Hill very wisely. You will never again find a more supportive community as Eagle Hill. You will miss it when you are gone. I am so happy to be well-connected with it still today,” said Jenness.
There are few words to express how proud and inspired Eagle Hill is of alums like Jenness and the work he does every day, but we send him our support in his amazing work, and a gracious “thank you,” for his courage and strong representation of what it means to be an Eagle Hill Pioneer.