To know her is to love her. She is a joy-filled, red-haired, creative dynamo who by God’s grace landed at 197 Dover Point Road much to all of our benefit. She is our Director of the Center of Academic Achievement, Jessica Cummings.
After graduating from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Jess pursued a double major at Fairfield University in Mathematics and Sociology. Once her diploma was in hand, her first thought was to enter the business field as an actuary. It wasn’t long into her job search, however, that Jess encountered her own two roads diverging in a yellow wood- one path led to Stamford, CT and the other path led back home to New Hampshire. With her parents’ encouraging words ringing in her ears, Jess decided to return to NH and understands now that this was a divinely-inspired decision. “The decision to come home gave me the gift of time. Precious time. I didn’t know it at that moment but those ended up being the last few years I would have to spend with my dad.”
Jess followed her passion for teaching and, after several years in the public school system, she returned to STA as our Center for Academic Achievement Director where she combines both her passions. “I am still able to use my math skills while simultaneously helping students feel comfortable and find success in their academics.”
When asked what she most loves about her job, Jess answers “The fact that I am able to help others and lead students to discovering their strengths and full potential. I love seeing the transformations that my students make between their freshman and senior years. There is nothing more rewarding than the look of excitement on my students’ faces after they accomplish a goal or find success. I hope in some small (or large) way, I have made a difference in their lives that they will remember for years to come. I’d like them to experience what I experienced from many of my teachers, coaches and role models while growing up.”
Coming from a small family and as an only child, Jess considers her “friend groups” as her extended family. She has many interests (“my passions”) including service work and athletics, both of which she feels have played a role into her becoming the person that she is today. As our STA tennis coach, Jess thinks fondly back to her own high school coach. “My tennis coach made a huge impact on my life, even if she doesn’t know it. I strive every day to be half as influential as she was for me.”
Jessica tributes her parents for being her number one fans. Her mother, Cindy, accompanies her to many a St. Thomas Aquinas sporting event, concert and fundraiser. And even though he is not near her physically anymore, Jess’ father will always be her biggest champion.
In her typical humble and generous style, Jess credits STA for her professional contentment. “I am especially grateful for this wonderful community and School Counseling Department. They have made my experience of returning to STA nothing short of amazing. They have reminded me of how wonderful STA is by bringing back fond memories of my student experience.”
We are beyond grateful to have Jess Cummings walk among our hallways and coach our students both in and out of the classroom. She is a terrific reminder of all the goodness that lies within a St. Thomas Aquinas student, alumna and overall… Saint.