How do you capture the career of a man who has dedicated 42 years of his life to service the students in Harford County Public Schools? If you were to walk into any building in our school system, you will find a teacher, an administrator, a secretary, a custodian, a parent or a student who has been impacted by Mr. Glenn Jensen.
Mr. Glenn Jensen, principal of Southampton Middle School, will be retiring at the end of the school year after 42 years of dedicated service to Harford County Public Schools. Through his career, he has served as a teacher and principal, but most of all a leader and role model to thousands of students and fellow staff.
In 1975, after graduating from Towson State College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education (Magna Cum Laude), he began his career teaching sixth graders at Homestead Elementary School.
Mr. Jensen continued his education after beginning his teaching career, graduating Towson State University in 1981 with a Master of Education degree. Beyond his Master’s, he continued his education at a variety of institutions including Western Maryland College, Goucher College, and Towson University.
As a teacher, Mr. Jensen spent 20 years of his career at Southampton Middle School teaching math. He also passionately taught at Hickory Elementary and Fallston Middle/High School prior to his tenure at Southampton.
After teaching for 25 years, Mr. Jensen was promoted to assistant principal at Bel Air Middle School, where he served for three years. Thereafter, he was promoted again to the position of principal at Havre de Grace Middle School, where he led for six years, before becoming principal at Southampton Middle.
Mr. Jensen is recognized by his faculty, students, and staff as “loyal, caring, considerate and kind” with a “warm demeanor, quick wit and even temper [that] is vital for the success of all at Southampton Middle School.”
One administrator wrote, “I have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Jensen two different times in my career, first as a teacher and second as an administrator. Although Mr. Jensen left the classroom many years ago, he has always remained a teacher at heart. He works to build strong, lasting relationships with both staff members and students. Mr. Jensen teaches the students lessons by providing real life stories through meaningful conversations. He truly cares about the staff members and their families. Many are so excited to share their personal stories and good news with him. Mr. Jensen identifies the strengths of all of his staff members and encourages each person to reach their full potential.”
Another staff member wrote, “He is compassionate and always focused on what is best for students. He understands that successful teachers need to be trusted to take risks and have their own ideas. He empowers teachers to learn and try new things in their classrooms. His student-focused leadership is unmatched. He is quite simply the best.”
As a student at Southampton for all three years of middle school, I can testify to Mr. Jensen’s leadership and kindness. As just a seventh grader, he allowed me to expand my horizons by reading the weather on morning announcements, something I was and still am incredibly passionate about. The following year, he trusted me to solely lead the school with the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, as well as reading school announcements and weather reports.
Throughout my two years in the office for announcements, what I witnessed was one of the most selfless people and greatest leaders I have ever known. He made decisions for the good of students and teachers alike, and always showed the utmost kindness and respect to each and every parent, student, and staff member. In the face of adversity, he remained calm and worked efficiently, never missing a step.
No person or job was beneath him, as he would consider and implement suggestions from any student or teacher. Every day before Thanksgiving break, Mr. Jensen served lunch in the cafeteria. In fact, once on a busy day with an overflow of students in the cafeteria, he assisted the lunch ladies with serving trays to ensure each student would have time to eat lunch.
Mr. Jensen, I will never forget you and the example you set for me. I cannot express in words my thankfulness for your support. You provided suggestions for me to improve, listened to my ideas, and through solely your actions helped me improve as a leader and a person.
Ms. Jody Simpson, Lead Secretary at Southampton Middle School says it best: “Mr. Jensen is the embodiment of the term ‘actions speak louder than words’. Mr. Jensen shows his students, his faculty and his staff, every single day, through his actions, what kind of person he truly is.”
Mr. Jensen, you will be truly missed as a leader, friend, and mentor. The Harford County Public Schools community has been very fortunate to have had the past 42 years with you. We would all like to wish you a happy, healthy, and enjoyable retirement in which you create many new memories. You are also thanked on behalf of the Baltimore Orioles for all the games you will surely attend with your free time!
Christian Walker and Jody Simpson contributed to this article.