She wasn’t sure the “big city” of Houston would work out for her since she grew up in the small town of Atlanta, Texas. Thirty-five years later, Spring Forest Middle School (SFMS) Counselor Jana Gwinn is celebrating a “round number” service anniversary in Spring Branch ISD, and is also looking forward to retirement this summer.
“It has been a great run,” said Gwinn. “We [SFMS] have a great staff and a wonderful community.”
Gwinn was initially hired to teach English at Spring Woods Middle School after her Baylor University roommate, an SBISD alumnus, convinced her to apply. Along the way, Gwinn earned a Masters in Counseling from Houston Baptist University and then served as a counselor at SFMS for 25 years.
Gwinn has worked for six superintendents and transitioned through at least five different versions of state testing.
For the past 19 Novembers, she organized heartwarming salute to area veterans events, where invited guests are treated to a breakfast and personal recognition at a school-wide assembly.
“It is an amazing community event,” said Gwinn. “The SFMS PTA, staff and students have made it a meaningful tradition that has grown larger each year.”
Gwinn keeps in touch with many of her former students, and occasionally is invited to graduations and weddings.
“So many kids go on to do wonderful things,” she said. “I don’t always get to see the finished product, but I never forget them.”
She also has high praise for colleagues and leaders with whom she has worked, and the families and students she has served in her 35 years in SBISD. “I wouldn’t trade them for the world,” she said. “It has been a very rewarding career.”
After retirement, Gwinn plans to volunteer through her church, continue to play clarinet in the church’s orchestra, and have more time to care for an aging family member.
Thank you Ms. Gwinn for making a difference in Spring Branch ISD. We celebrate you.