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Teacher remembered for her enthusiasm

November 01, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Jennifer "Jenn" Cameron loved reading, had an enthusiastic attitude and enjoyed helping others, including her students at Boonsboro Middle School, her family and colleagues said.

Jennifer Sue Cameron, 25, a Charles Town resident who taught English at the southern Washington County middle school, died Friday night after the car she was driving slid off Flowing Springs Road in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and struck a tree, according to the Jefferson County (W.Va.) Sheriff's Department.

"Jennifer was an amazing woman," her mother, Karri Cameron, said Sunday. "She dedicated her life to make things for other people better."

After school, Jenn Cameron tutored students at Boonsboro Middle, said her mother, who teaches computer classes at John Handley High School in Winchester, Va. Cameron also tutored several of her mother's students who were having trouble passing English and might not have graduated without her daughter's help, Karri Cameron said.

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At Boonsboro Middle, Cameron was Student Council adviser, and taught eighth-grade English and a magnet class, Principal Paul Engle said.

The magnet program, World Languages and Global Communication, is a Spanish immersion program, so Cameron taught those students in Spanish and English, said Engle and magnet coordinator Marti Stenersen.

Stenersen and Cameron became friends when Cameron started teaching at the school in December 2006.

They were "hall buddies," since their classrooms were across from each other's, and they were often in the hall in between classes, Stenersen said.

"She was bubbly. She had a quick smile. She was very intelligent, very creative and she had real high expectations," Stenersen said.

Marilyn Howell, Jenn's aunt, said Jenn finished her degree at Shepherd University in December 2006 and walked at graduation ceremony the following May. Karri Cameron said her daughter was considering starting a master's program in English in January.

"She wanted to be able to teach special-education kids," Karri Cameron said.

As a student, Jenn Cameron attended Charles Town Middle School and Jefferson High School before transferring to Handley for her junior and senior years, Karri Cameron said.

Jenn Cameron is survived by a son, Aidan, who is 6.

Asked on the phone what he enjoyed doing with his mom, Aidan said, "We liked to wrestle on the bed."

Cameron and her son lived with Cameron's parents, Karri and Greg Cameron Sr.

She was the third-eldest of four children.

Karri Cameron said her daughter liked to read and it wasn't uncommon for her to be reading three books at a time.

"She read to (Aidan) every day and every night," Karri Cameron said.

Today and Tuesday are professional days for Washington County Public Schools, Engle said. Students will return on Wednesday.

A crisis support team will be at the school today and Wednesday. Any students or parents who want to talk to someone can come by today during regular school hours, Engle said.

"Jenn was creative, enthusiastic. Students loved her," Engle said. "She made learning fun and real to her students. She smiled and laughed with her students. She brought out the best in them."

Devin Moore, Student Council president and an eighth-grader, said Cameron dedicated a lot of her time to students, helping prepare for council activities.

Cameron helped council members organize a recent fundraising car wash and was helping them plan a canned food drive, Engle and Devin said.

"She made it fun and exciting for all the council members," Devin said.

Devin, a flute player in the Boonsboro Middle School marching band, said the band dedicated its Alsatia Mummers Parade performance on Saturday night to Cameron.

Engle recalled a saying of Cameron's: "Yeah, yeah, we can do that!"

"That's the type of person she was," Engle said. "It's very sad what has happened and she will be greatly missed."

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