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Mr. Jenkins finds warmth in Pompano reunion

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While he now inhabits the room across from his former classroom, it seems as if Mr. Alex Jenkins never left the royal blue halls of Pompano Beach High School. The new room, while a stark contrast from the warmly-lit and snug space most have been accustomed to, is the start of a new chapter in Jenkins’ life.

 

“Room 321 will always be the place,” Jenkins said, “[With] the alumni [in room] 321, we cultivated a lot of lives there.”

 

It was a bittersweet moment for Jenkins when he left the school. He regarded his classroom as a ‘home away from home’, a place where students could not only learn about technology and computers, but a classroom where students could learn important lessons about life. A place where empathy and maturity would take a key role in how Jenkins conducted his class. A place that not only teaches the required course material but how students can learn to grow as an individual.

 

“My greatest thing [when it comes to teaching] is when a freshman comes in, they just do not feel as if they could make it. Then then you have the opportunity to guide them, to impact that child,” Jenkins said. “Before you know it, they are the valedictorian, homecoming king and queen in their senior year.”

 

Mr Jenkins has one experience in particular that stays fresh in his mind.

 

“Patriel Bailey was a sibling of a former student that I had. Before she came her freshman year, she sat in the very seat that her sister sat in. To this day, she claims she did not know [that her sister sat in her seat]. She became, as people say, the teacher’s favorite. If I had a group of favorites, she would be one of them. But her freshman year, she didn’t think she would make it. She was struggling in her classes, and I had the opportunity to impact her. She wanted to go to her home school, and even willingly took herself out of Pompano for a year. I was very instrumental in getting her back to Pompano. I got her on track, she graduated with honors, she was the homecoming queen. She went off to college to get a degree in fashion.” Jenkins lamented. 

 

If you asked Patriel herself, she would say that Jenkins played a huge part in her life.

 

“Mr. Jenkins was so much more than a teacher to myself and other classmates,” Patriel said. “He brought us so much joy in knowing ourselves. He provided great mentorship that evidently [helped] me thrive throughout my years of Pompano Beach High School. He always maintained such a positive attitude as well as an impactful smile.” Patriel has now graduated from The Savannah College of Art and Design.

 

Jenkins has had an impact stretching beyond the classroom as well. He has coached numerous sports during his time at Pompano as well as having sponsored a multitude of club activities. The connection between Jenkins and students participating in these extracurricular activities has been incredibly beneficial in helping the students learn leadership, hardwork and determination. Judaiah Elam, who is on the girls basketball team, is one of those people affected by Jenkins

 

“He’s very influential. He’s very wise as well, so as you know, as an adult he can talk to younger people and tell them what’s right and wrong. He gives great advice, he is very calm and knows how to speak to people,” Elam said.

 

Jenkins is beloved by students and faculty alike.. His homely personality has won the support of both the student body and the faculty and helps to foster a love for the school community. Jenkins can remember one moment when the school came together for him before he left last year.

 

“[Mrs. Spencer and Coach Frey] gathered everybody in the gym,” Jenkins said, “And there are all these people. This was when I was leaving. They treated it as if it was a basketball game, with [Coach Frey] on the PA making announcements. They gave me a final three point shot to make and I knocked the three pointer down.”

 

One of the ways Jenkins finds this connection with the students and faculty is with the routines he does everyday. One of these routines was named by his students as his ‘Quote of the Day’. Jenkins, when asked by someone, would always give a passionate quote about certain ideas and practices in life. Sometimes Jenkins improvises the quotes, other times he reads the quotes online and shares them with his students. Even while being interviewed for this article, Jenkins said he had one quote that represented himself and how he conducts himself in the class.

 

“Spread love and kindness wherever you go, for they are the true reflections of your heart.”

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Tanner Block
Tanner Block, Sports Editor
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