New on Campus: Brande Jones, Ph.D., Science Teacher, Upper School

New on Campus: Brande Jones, Ph.D., Science Teacher, Upper School

What would students be surprised to find out about you?

My students would probably be surprised to find out that I love nature and outdoor adventures! A few of my experiences include hiking the Inca Trails to Machu Picchu in Peru, climbing volcanoes in Ecuador, hiking the Grand Canyon, rafting the Colorado River, and trekking Table Mountain in South Africa. My favorite experience so far was being on Machu Picchu. I am afraid of heights and was suffering from altitude sickness during the trek. I did not think that I would make it to the top on my own, but I couldn't give up. The view from the top was glorious! 


What is your favorite book, movie, and band/performer?
I love to read! One of my favorite books this year has been "The Secret Lives of Church Ladies." It is a book of short stories. Each of the stories left me wanting more!

My all-time favorite movies would be Jurassic Park (the original) or Silence of the Lambs. I love thrillers!

My favorite performers are Beyonce (obviously!!!), J. Cole, and Outkast.


What constitutes a "good day" at school for you?

I love interacting and chatting with my students! A good day for me in the science classroom would involve working in the lab with my students to complete a task to apply what we've learned. Our activities would include a lot of talking and laughing. I love to hear my students having fun, and I like hearing them make sense of the content in their language. 


How did your own school experience influence your teaching career?

My 10th-grade biology teacher had my class work on a project to collect and test runoff into one of the local creeks in Dekalb County. We were completing the research to assist a professor at Georgia Tech in collecting data on the health of the water systems in the community. It was the very first time I experienced the impact science could have on society. I knew the work I completed would be essential and would impact the people living in the community. That's when I fell in love with science and knew that my career would have to be somehow related to it. I try my best to create similar connections for my students to see how they can also use science to impact society.


What is the single most important thing you hope to impart to your students?

I hope to show my students that "We can do hard things." Life is not always easy, but if we persist and don't give up, we'll always win in the end.