One of the sad things about ending the school year under quarantine is missing the opportunity to celebrate milestones. While we were able to have an online award ceremony, and an in-person commencement ceremony for the class of 2020, we were unable to celebrate a significant retirement. After decades of teaching in San Antonio Independent School District, Spring Branch Independent School district, and for 16 years at The Tenney School, Jean Fonville will be retiring from our History Department this summer.
Mrs. Fonville was born and raised in Houston, eventually graduating from a brand new Memorial High School (MHS). She was a proud member of the MHS drill team, the Marquettes, and was even on a squad that earned first place at an SMU drill team camp. Following high school she started college at Austin College, but eventually spent time at the Chapman College SEVEN SEAS program where she studied on scholarship and visited 17 ports aboard a ship.
She started her teaching career teaching 8th grade social studies in San Antonio, but quickly made it back to Houston after getting married in 1971. Her first position in Houston was at Spring Oaks Junior High. She took a few years off to have kids, and eventually transferred to teach high school history at her alma mater, Memorial High School. In her time at MHS she taught US History, World Geography, and even Spanish I.
In 2004 Mrs. Fonville retired from MHS and was hired by George & Judy Tenney to teach history at The Tenney School. She has since taught American History, World Geography, World History, US History, US Government & Economics. If you include summer school, she has taught virtually every history class offered at The Tenney School. She is always one to put others before herself and put the needs of the team first. She has served as a Department Chair and as a school coordinator for English Language Learners.
Another interesting fact about Mrs. Fonville is that she has studied Taekwondo. She decided to join in after spending a lot of time at the DoJang watching her kids, and now holds her own 1st Dan Black Belt.
After decades of teaching, it is safe to say that Mrs. Fonville has made a lasting impact on thousands of students. In fact, Mrs. Fonville career has had such a span she has taught more than one child of a former student. She will be greatly missed.