Beautiful Person, Beautiful Work: In Loving Memory of Jenny Walkowiak
On September 26th, the Pathways High community lost a dear friend, an unwavering advocate, and a beautiful person whose place in our hearts cannot be filled. Jenny Walkowiak, Pathways High Co-Founder, super-volunteer, loving wife and mother of four teen daughters, passed away unexpectedly. While we ache with an overwhelming sadness, we yearn to honor her tremendous contributions to our community.
Pathways High would not be what it is today without Jenny’s wide-ranging talents and steadfast commitment to the school and its mission. From the first day my fellow co-founders, Amber Regan and Tina Schulz, and I met Jenny in April 2016, she pushed our thinking with her inquisitive nature and zest for learning. "Going down rabbit holes" to better understand the details of a topic was a favorite activity and phrase repeated by Jenny. She loved researching academic standards and creating curriculum maps to help students and parents better understand our school’s academic program. Her advocacy on behalf of families was second to none. Jenny was the face of Pathways High to our prospective students/families; the best spokesperson and recruiter because she was gifted at understanding families' desires for their student(s) and matching those desires to what our school offers. Her strong empathy for others readily put people at ease. She spent countless hours talking on the phone with the parents/guardians of prospective students. No doubt, Jenny’s passion for the school and her positive engagement with families made the difference in enrolling many students. Beautiful work emanates from beautiful people. At Pathways High, everyone knew if you needed something to look beautiful you should ask Jenny to work her magic. Without fail and with the most generous spirit, Jenny created gorgeous work – brochures, posters, photographs, flyers, invitations, social media posts, and even an entire website – time and time again. Watching Jenny get our students to let down their guard, be themselves, and smile (even grin) for photographs that perfectly captured their essence, is a happy memory I’ll always cherish. Beautiful work is a product of a deep love and understanding of the subject. Jenny’s love for Pathways High, our community, and our mission to unleash all learners’ potential now is evident in everything she created. No one lived and breathed Pathways High more than Jenny, and we are all better living in the world she helped to create. We are grateful to be surrounded by her beautiful work that will live on and continue to honor her memory. Jenny, our beloved and beautiful friend, you have positively impacted our lives in immeasurable ways and we miss you dearly!