“Of all of my volunteer work I do, it’s been the most rewarding. Seeing how it affects kids and teachers is rewarding. When the (executive director) job came available, I thought, ‘This might be a way to give back to the community and enjoy what I’m doing.”
Teacher friends of the 1999 Marble Falls High School graduate encouraged her to apply for the job. However, she confessed, she was already considering it.
“I had thought about it for awhile. This is a departure from what I had been doing in the past. It seemed like the right opportunity to do so,” Jette said. “I think (my friends) see my dedication to what we’re doing and a really deep connection to the community. They saw the work I was already doing and my temperament.”
The Marble Falls Education Foundation raises money to support MFISD teachers and programs and a scholarship fund for students. The foundation is governed by an independent board of directors and operates separately from the school district. Money comes from donations from businesses and individuals as well as private and public grant sources.
Jette takes over for Pam Parkman, who resigned in February to take a job elsewhere.
The new executive director said she has several goals, the biggest being to raise more awareness of the Marble Falls Education Foundation and its purpose, particularly with current and former MFISD students. She noted the foundation is involved in many aspects of student life, but few are aware of it unless it’s front and center.
Another goal is to keep better track of alumni, possibly by partnering with the Marble Falls Ex-Students Association.
“This is keeping track of where (alumni are) going and what they’re doing,” Jette said.
A favorite foundation enterprise of Jette’s is Grants for Great Ideas, which encourages MFISD personnel to create better ways of teaching students. The foundation provides grant funding through an application process. Jette has accompanied foundation volunteers, board members, and staff to give the winners the good news and then returned later to see the projects in students’ hands.
“It’s fun seeing the creative thing and seeing how it’s being used in the classroom,” Jette said. “Kids show off what they’re learning. They’re excited about it. You see the full circle. Then, it’s rewarding. It gets you excited.”
Jette’s husband, Justin, is also a Marble Falls High School graduate. The couple have two sons: Max, who will graduate from another high school this summer, and Quincy, who will be an eighth-grader at Marble Falls Middle School in the fall.
Marble Falls Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen said Jette’s connection to the school district and foundation played a large role in her getting the job.
“She understands who we are as a community,” he said. “We want her to engage the entire community and work closely with the alumni groups. Part of the reason why we think Jeanna can be so engaged is because she’s one herself.”