Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

FEATURE: Jennie Kuenz, Ignation Formation Director

Jennie+Kuenz%2C+New+Ignatian+Formation+Director%2C+Student+and+Teacher+at+Jesuit+since+1993
Kate Riddle
Jennie Kuenz, New Ignatian Formation Director, Student and Teacher at Jesuit since 1993

Mrs. Kuenz is excited about taking on a new role as the Ignation Formation Director and continues to be the director of ecological justice and global networking.

Her twentieth year at Jesuit, she is entering her new role with a robust background of teaching.

“I was hired as a math teacher, and I’ve taught algebra, precalculus, physics, honors physics, and AP environmental science,” Kuenz said.

Kuenz was a student at Jesuit and was a freshman in 1993 when Jesuit went co-ed. This year, Jesuit High School is celebrating 30 years of coeducation.

In her new role, Kuenz will be working with all of the adults on campus, teaching them ways to help students understand Ignatian spirituality, so that students can be shaped to live a life of faith.

“The Ignatian Formation Director works with all adults on campus, which includes parents and alumni, faculty and staff, and the board of trustees. Really it’s bringing our Ignatian charism to life,” Kuenz said.

Kuenz loves Jesuit and is excited to help students be a part of a global network around the world.

“What I am most excited about is continuing to network with those schools but really helping all the adults on campus understand the Ignatian spirituality in a deeper, more personal way, so it becomes part of their lives that they can impart to students,” Kuenz said.

She still hopes to connect with the students even though she won’t be in the classroom.

Full Interview Transcript (lightly edited)

What is your current role at Jesuit?
“My current role is our Ignatian formation director and our director of ecological justice and global networking.”
How long have you been at Jesuit?
“This is my 20th year working at Jesuit and I went here as a student also, my freshman year was the year the school went co-ed. We’re celebrating 30 years of coeducation this year. There’s actually five of us in that original class of freshmen who now work here, which is kind of cool. Miss Steirt, Sra. Schick, Ms. Casey, and Mrs. McGrane. So all five of us were freshmen that first year in 1993.”
What roles have you had?
“I was hired as a math teacher, and I’ve taught algebra and precalculus. I’ve taught physics and honors physics, and AP environmental science, and then I’ve done global and ecological work for the last seven years. I also work with the students program. I’ve done that for 19 years.”
Can you describe your new role at Jesuit?
“The Ignatian formation director works with all adults on campus which includes parents and alumni, faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees. Really, it’s bringing our Ignatian charism to life.”
“So helping form the adults on campus so that they can in turn help shape you as students and understand what it means to live a life of faith and understand Ignatian spirituality so that it’s interwoven into all of our classes and our programs and different departments.”
What are you most excited about in this new role?
“I love Jesuit and I think a lot of people and maybe even students don’t realize that we’re part of a bigger global network. There are schools all over the globe. And so, helping in all of those schools around the world share the same mission of educating men and women for and with others, and share the profile of the grad at grad, and a lot of the key terms we talk about here at Jesuit. What I’m most excited about is continuing to network with those schools but really helping all of the adults on campus, faculty and staff and the board of trustees understand that Ignatian spirituality in a deeper, more personal way, so it becomes part of their lives, that they can then impart to students.”
What challenges do you perceive for this new role?
“There’s a lot of directions I could go with that. One of the hardest things was to be at the beginning of the year assembly, to look out, and realize, I only know a few sophomores, because I’ve taught sophomore physics for 19 years. One of the biggest challenges because I’m not in the classroom this year, is to continue to know students and build those relationships. I’m trying to figure out what exactly my vision is for the job, but I wouldn’t say that that’s a challenge. I’m excited about visioning the program, and taking what already exists and has been built, and continuing to help it grow.”

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About the Contributors
Kate Riddle, Staff Writer
Kate Riddle is a Junior at Jesuit and this is her first year taking media. She was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Kate is the youngest of 3 children, and has 2 dogs. Both of her siblings are Jesuit graduates, and her brother Charlie who graduated in 2023 took media as well. Outside of school Kate enjoys traveling, working out, being with her friends and family, and trying new food! Kate is excited to learn more about writing, filming, and editing while in media class. Kate also looks forward to hopefully writing and filming about the impact of social media on today’s youth culture, and the influence of school sports on student life. She loves the Jesuit Media community already and cannot wait for all the memories she will make in this class!
Claudia Rose, Staff Writer
Claudia Rose is a Jesuit High School junior entering her first year in media production. She recently verbally committed to play soccer at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and hopes to major in journalism or communications where she can continue to use her skills learned in media. Claudia is interested in writing about sports and social justice topics at Jesuit. She has a particular interest in writing about women in sports. This interest came from reading books such as Under the Lights and in the Dark by Gwendolyn Oxenham, and learning about sports stars such as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Carli Lloyd, and Mia Hamm. Claudia loves any sport or outdoor activity, especially soccer. She plays forward for the varsity women’s soccer team. The team is looking towards a strong season and hopes to become back-to-back State Champions. During the spring, you will find Claudia on the field for the Portland Thorns Academy. She also loves hiking, skiing, and baking. She has a special interest in baking French macarons. Claudia loves to travel and hopes to become a fluent Spanish speaker. Someday, she would love to combine her interests in travel, sports, and writing.