Jeanna Pena

Grosvenor Teacher Fellow

Jeanna Peña grew up in Brownsville, Texas, and spent her formative years exploring the Rio Grande Valley Delta and Laguna Madre. She spent her summers volunteering with the Marine Mammal Stranding Network on South Padre Island, venturing south into Mexico’s cloud forests with the Gorgas Science Society and trekking through jungles in Central America studying with indigenous populations to eventually complete “La Ruta Maya” with university colleagues.

Jeanna currently teaches visual arts in Cypress, Texas, and uses her diverse background to integrate curriculum in a STEAM environment infused with a multicultural perspective. She focuses on engaging students by including personal connections, curiosity, challenge, and real-world application. She is adamant about showing students possibilities beyond their current circumstances and being a purveyor of hope in a highly at-risk community. Jeanna is passionate about travel and promoting global understanding through the arts. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Texas A&M University and has been teaching for seventeen years. Her most recent honors include: 2019 Texas Region IV Teacher of the Year, 2018 Cypress Fairbanks ISD Teacher of the Year, 2017 National Gallery of Art Fellow, 2016 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow (Antarctica), and 2015 NAEA Delegate (Cuba). Her teaching philosophy can be summed up in a quote by Baba Dioum, “For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”

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