Get to know the 2022-2023 Annual Fund Chair Co-Chair Jessie Adams through a question and answer session with Volunteer Coordinator Helen Jahangir.
Q: What are the names of your children?
A: Caldwell '31 and Harding '34
Q: How many years have you been involved at USN?
A: This is our fourth year volunteering with the Annual Fund
Q: How are you/have you been involved at USN?
A: This year, [my husband] Brian and I are chairing the Annual Fund. We've worked on that in different capacities for the past few years, and I am also a room parent. Probably the best gig, though, is doing the Treat Walk at Fall Fest. Apologies to all the unfortunate parents who've had to take home entire large cakes as a result ... but the kids just think it is wildly delightful.
Q: Why do you do it?
A: I think that volunteering for the school — in any form — lets you really get to know the school. You get a sense of what it's like on the inside, who the leaders are, and how the mission is carried out. It also shows the kids — ours, but really all the students — that we’re interested in them, and we care about them. It shows them that we consider their school, and education more broadly, to be a cause worth our time and attention. Finally, it sets the example in our family that we should use our skills and resources to serve our community.
Q: Would you do it again? Why?
A: Of course! Until the kids tell me it's no longer cool to have their mom hanging around the school.
Q: Words of wisdom? Piece of advice?
A: Be kind to teachers. They are doing good, hard work and care so deeply about their students and their profession. The past few years have been an extraordinarily difficult time to be an educator, and we owe them so much more as a society.
Q: What would you like to see change? Stay the same?
A: I think this is exactly the challenge schools are facing in this moment. How do we stay true to who we are, and hold on to the essence of what makes USN what it is, while also pushing forward in bold and innovative ways? I think we, as a school, are sitting in a unique moment, and I hope we capture that and use it as the opportunity it is.
Q: What do you love most about USN?
A: We’re all fortunate to have so many solid educational options in Nashville. For our family, I think it is the intangibles — the parent community, the professional networks, the dedication of the teachers and leadership, the opportunity to interact with children and families that are different from ours — there’s a richness there. It’s the real deal, and we’re grateful every day.
Q: What else do you have going on in your life outside of co-chairing Annual Fund?
A: Between work, kids' activities, two dogs, and eight chickens, not much. We enjoy going to Predators games, hanging out with family and friends, and discovering all the cool new places to go in Nashville. I grew up here, but it's changing so impossibly fast.
If you would like to learn more about the Annual Fund, click here