New Teacher Hemken Helps Students Find Their Voices


Charlotte Groton

The Westminster faculty and staff team is greatly appreciated here at Westminster. Our faculty are always welcoming and kind, and Jamie Hemken, 7th grade English teacher and US History teacher, meets these standards flawlessly. 

7th graders always love having Hemken as their teacher. “Ms. Hemken always knows how to make me feel better. Even her smile seems to light up the class, and she has taught us so much this year,” Says 7th grader Sophie Ji.

This year is Hemken’s first year at Westminster, but her 18th year teaching. She is originally from Southern Illinois and moved to Atlanta two years ago. Hemken feels that although she misses her friends and family back in Illinois, Atlanta is a good fit for her. “The city is where I was made to live, and I love Atlanta and all of the beautiful places and views,” says Hemken. “What I love most about Westminster are the students, and how bright, inquisitive, and curious they are and they just bring a certain energy to the classroom that is infectious and it makes coming to work a lot more fun.

What inspired Hemken to become a teacher from the start was having a voice. Growing up, she felt as if her school and teachers never really taught her how to self-advocate and have a voice. “One of my main and most important goals as a teacher is to ensure that my students know their rights and have a voice,” says Hemken. “I think that if I were to be taught this at a young age, I would have greatly benefited from it.” 

Hemken says that if she could change anything about the world, she would do something about the world’s water supply and cleanliness. She among many others thinks that “water supply and sanitation are hard to find nowadays in some areas around the world. I hope that one day everybody can gain access to their human necessities, of clean drinking water.” We are so lucky to have such a wonderful educator as Hemken as a teacher here at Westminster.