Former Student Returns to Highland High as a TeacherMar 10, 2016 10h31 ● By Bryan Scott
By Natalie Mollinet | [email protected]
Sugar House - Jenny Hardy had never planned on coming back to Highland High to teach after she went to high school there for four years. She then attended BYU, earning her bachelor’s in film, and later moved across the country to Boston, where she earned her master’s in film.
“I never planned on being a high school teacher, so being back at Highland is a bit of a surprise. The schedule of a high school teacher does allow me some free time in the summer months to pursue creative film projects if I choose to, so that’s very nice,” Hardy said.
Hardy grew up in Sugar House along Parleys Way. Her older siblings went to Highland, as well as her little brother. Her mother, Kerry, still works at Highland in the registrar’s office and has a reputation amongst the students as being sweet and awesome.
“I love working with my mom. Highland already felt like my family and now it literally is. The students are always happy to find out that such an adorable woman is related to me – I think they like me more when they find out who my mom is because she’s so great,” Hardy said.
On the side, Hardy does freelance video work throughout the school year and feels like that video production void is filled in her life while she is teaching. She enjoys doing film because she can be creative and can still use that skill to help her students out while she’s teaching.
“I love the creative ideas I see my students come up with. I have the fortunate job of being their creative outlet during the day, and I get to see a side of their personalities that I think doesn’t always manifest in their other classes,” she said.
Hardy has had a long-time love for film. In fact, in her senior year she was elected as a student body officer over assemblies. She made a Highland film with the help of her fellow students called “The Chronicles of Highland: The Ram, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” She directed and did all the editing for the film and is still remembered by students who attended that year. Four years prior to that, she played the character of Legolas in another Highland film, called “Lord of the Rams.”
She has already started making changes to her video production class at Highland. She is in charge of Highland’s news show HTVS that airs once a week in the morning for the whole student body.
“Last year, I updated all the equipment we use in our studio, so our HTVS broadcasts are now live-streamed through YouTube on our channel (HTVS News) in glorious HD. The program already had a long line of award-winning films, news stories and commercials at the Utah High School Film Festival and other competitions, and I plan on increasing our presence in those areas,” she said.
Not only is she planning to change how much Highland is involved in state film programs, she has updated their video editing system at Highland to include 20 new iMac computers with Adobe Production Premium.
“We also have started streaming sporting events on our YouTube channel this year so you can watch them and hear live commentary on the home basketball games from the comfort of your living room,” she said.
Not only is Hardy a teacher, a daughter and a sister, but she considers herself to have a nerdy and geeky side. She is a diehard Whovian and admits that her favorite doctor is David Tennant.
“No contest, though I do actually like all of them for their own reasons,” she said.
Hardy loves being back in her old stomping grounds and hopes to continue to grow the broadcasting classes there.
“I don’t completely know what the future holds, but I do know that working at Highland has been a great experience and I look forward to building the video production and TV broadcasting programs here,” she said