We caught up with Jen Ringenberg who is joining the faculty of Coram Deo Academy as 2nd Grade Instructor for the 2023-2024 school year. We wanted the community to be able to get to know her, so we asked her some interview questions. Here are her responses.
1. Are you married? Kids?
Yes! My husband, Ryan, and I have been married since June 2002 and have four children: two boys (17 & 15) and two girls (13 and 10). He is a world history teacher at Carmel High School, which leads to many conversations centered around education in our house. We also have a sweet and sassy mini goldendoodle.
2. Where did you go to school?
I graduated from Taylor University with a degree in elementary education and a minor in Spanish. My initial dream was to teach overseas in a school for missionary kids, but God led me in a different direction. Attending Taylor University after graduating from a public high school felt like coming home, and I get the same feeling when I spend time at Coram Deo. This school is such a blessing!
3. What gets you up in the morning?
I would say three things motivate me to wake up early each day: exercise, a hot cup (or two) of coffee, and time in God’s Word while the house is still quiet. I love having that time to myself before the chaos of daily life starts.
4. What are your favorite hobbies?
I love reading, traveling with my family to new locations (especially National Parks), and watching my kids’ sports and activities.
5. What is one of your hidden talents?
My husband and I LOVE to plan long road trips for our family. Our goal is to visit the lower 48 states before our oldest child goes to college, hitting as many National Parks as we can along the way. We have only three states left (WA, OR, and ID), and it has been a great way for our family to connect.
6. What is your favorite book and why?
As a child/teen, my favorite book was Anne of Green Gables, but as an adult I have struggled to choose a favorite. I can say that one of the most memorable books I’ve read in the past few years is No One Ever Asked. A theme of this fictional book is a bus desegregation program and its impacts on the community. A similar program had been implemented in the suburban St. Louis district where I attended high school and later taught, so this novel felt particularly relevant and led me to examine my own views and feelings. My favorite types of books are those that encourage me to learn, reflect, and evaluate—though I am also a fan of a “beach read” every now and then.
7. How long have you lived in Indiana and why do you enjoy living here?
I bounced in and out of Indiana during my younger years (8th grade in Richmond and four years at Taylor University) but officially moved here in 2001. Though I love traveling around the country and seeing the beauty of God’s creation on display at beaches on the coasts, in mountains out west, or on the plains of South Dakota and Kansas, I relish the changing seasons and the kindness of the people in central Indiana. Each time I travel and think a different city or state might hold my next home, I’m drawn back to Carmel and the connection I feel to this community.
8. What meaningful event in your past significantly influenced your life?
Between 2nd grade and 9th grade I lived in six states. My dad worked for a company that transferred him with each promotion, so in one sense that was a positive, but growing up in that environment definitely presented challenges as well as benefits. I became very good at meeting people and comfortable with “small talk” because I had so much practice. It provided opportunities to experience different areas of the country as well as different types of communities and find a way to adapt. Our family developed a deeper connection while we were moving because we were each other’s support system. Most importantly, I experienced God’s faithfulness in providing strong youth groups and encouraging leaders in each of the churches we attended. I am incredibly thankful that I can see the evidence of God’s grace throughout my life in spite of all of the upheaval. While it was difficult always being “the new kid,” I can see how it has made me who I am today.
9. What historical figure would you like to spend a day with?
In college, I fell in love with several books by Elizabeth Elliot and was challenged by her story and faith in God throughout the trials of her life. If I had a day to spend with her, I would soak up her wisdom on how to be a woman who loves God and lives in a way that honors Him when life doesn’t turn out how you expected. I would love to hear her heart and be challenged to grow in my walk with the Lord.
10. What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I have been plant-based for the past 4 ½ years due to some health issues.
Did you miss some of our new faculty interview articles of those who joined last year?
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