Meeting Ms. Vann and Ms. Collins

AMHS has been blessed with the addition of our newest teachers, Ms. Vann and Ms. Collins. I sought out these teachers to get the scoop on everything you need to know about them.

First we have Ms. Vann. The newest addition to our English Department, Ms. Vann is in her ninth year teaching and has always been able to guide upperclassmen through the trials of learning and understanding the importance of research. A lover of school growing up, she considers herself to be a “lifelong learner,” which was a large motivation for her current occupation in teaching.

In response to the question, “Why Magnet?” She said that she has heard a lot of great things about our school and was adamant for the open position teaching AP Seminar. Prior to moving to Charleston, she finished graduate school. She graduated in May with a masters in English and a focus in Professional Writing and Rhetoric. She moved here from Asheville to be closer to her family and specifically, her sister. That’s right, the rumors are true, we have a sister duo teaching at our school now. When asked how working with her sister is, Ms. Vann replied that Ms. Renes has been her teacher all her life and that she has already been called Ms. Renes in the hallway. Some fun facts about Ms. Vann are that she likes to write nonfiction, snowboard, stay at the beach, and spend time with her nieces and cat named Zoe. To the more random questions in this interview, Ms. Vann told me that her favorite album is Folklore by Taylor Swift because it was calming during lockdown, her favorite food is seafood, and that she is a morning person rather than a night owl (mostly for the sunrise though). When asked for a hot take, she proudly exposed her opinion that Winnie the Pooh is the smartest Disney character.

Our next interviewee and addition to Magnet is Ms. Collins. She is our school’s newest Principles of Engineering teacher! Let me throw you a curveball, she’s actually a certified English teacher. She said that she is excited to see her values taught from a technology and math-oriented perspective in light of her English-teaching background. She has taught under CCSD for six years, the last five at Daniel Jenkins Academy. She got her teaching certification at Wofford and started her teaching career working for the Peace Corps in North Macedonia teaching English as a foreign language for over two years.

When asked “Why Magnet?” she brought me back to her roots as an SOA student. She said that she loved SOA and the culture of the campus which were large factors in her decision to start working at AMHS. Ms. Collins proclaimed her love for creative writing, specifically poems in her free time (which also happened to be her major at SOA). She had a poem published in FIYAH, a Hugo award-winning literary magazine (check it out here). She explained a notable moment in her life by saying that, “As an undergraduate student at Wofford College, I studied abroad in Prague (and Moravia) in the Czech Republic. I went to SIT, the School for International Training. While there, I studied artistic heritage and social change, took part in workshops in ceramics, civic initiatives for building local communities, and creative writing. I specifically focused on how creative dissent played a decisive role in shaping social and political change during the communist era in the Czech Republic. Other study-abroad students and I also went on educational excursions to Germany, Slovakia, Poland, and Bohemia to explore the mountain villages, visit art centers, meet creative activists, and create traditional art.” Ms. Collins is a Charleston native, Gullah, and holds strong values for activism and advocacy. Her favorite song is “Energy” by Sampa the Great which she likes because it is “experimental,” focuses on women empowerment, and has African cultural references. When asked if she was a morning or night person, she specified that she is an evening person. She is a proud supporter of pineapple on pizza (we love to hear it) and actually says that it is her favorite type of pizza.

Welcome to AMHS Ms. Vann and Ms. Collins!