Meet: Jessica Sumner Farina
WCC Class of: 1996
WCC Degree: Associate of Arts and Sciences in Education
WCC Legacy: Parents Cathy and Blake Sumner both attended WCC, as well as sister, Terri Lynn Sumner Cronin, cousin Wendy Sumner Dixon, and uncle Gary Sumner. Jessica’s great uncle, Al Jennings, taught at WCC for many years.
Favorite WCC Instructor(s): Joe Bryant for history & Rhonda Catron (now Rhonda Catron-Wood) for English
WCC Claim to Fame: Winning the WCC Tennis Tournament as a student
Favorite WCC Memories: Carpooling to campus with her sister and friends, making longtime friendships, playing cards in the student lounge in between classes, and most specifically, Dr. Catron’s purple ink pens.
“Dr. Catron-Wood always used purple pens to grade our papers. It was less harsh than red. And to this day, I still won’t use red pens to grade papers.”
After WCC: Jessica transferred to Longwood University where she was able to enjoy the entire four-year college experience. She even joined a sorority and lived on campus. Going to WCC for two years then transferring to a university gave her the best of both college experiences.
“I would have gone to WCC all four years if I could have. WCC was always a friendly, comforting atmosphere.”
Today: Today, Jessica teaches 6th grade math at Galax Middle School, and she previously taught at Independence Elementary School and Independence Middle School, where she was named Teacher of the Year for 2011-12. Jessica lives in Grayson County with husband, Michael Farina (also a teacher and band director at Carroll County High School) and their two dogs, Fritz and Walter.
Giving Back: The daughter of two public school teachers, Jessica always knew she wanted to teach. She loves interacting with a diverse student body and enjoys seeing her students succeed in the classroom and build confidence as they learn. In addition to teaching, Jessica also volunteers at her local community church.
P.S.: Known for making up cheers and songs to help students learn and recall math formulas, Jessica’s teaching strategies seems to be working: 91% of her students passed their math SOL this year. Way to go Mrs. Farina!