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52 Tuesdays: Jennifer Loper

Colorado native Jennifer Loper was working towards an art degree at Colorado State University when she thought it might be sensible to combine her art with a major in education. She received her degree in Art Education and worked in Jefferson Country as an elementary school art teacher. She and husband Steve moved with their two children to Vail, where she taught language arts in Eagle. She helped start Eagle County Charter Academy, in Edwards, Colo. “We put a cap on the number of kids who could be in a classroom, 16 students to 1 teacher. There were no specials teachers but everybody who was hired had to have some kind of enrichment that they could share. My whole life has been in physical education, so I was ready to help with P.E. as well as to teach art. At the time, I was just thrilled to be part of something that was making a change in the world.”

Photo: Teacher, Jennifer Loper practices a yoga pose outside her Golden Home

Jennifer was at Eagle County Charter Academy for over 15 years. She talks about some of the happy times there. “We had no facilities for P.E. so the kids were outside a lot. The parents were involved, so we would take the kids on trips and out camping. There was singing, performances, and outdoor nature. It was just delightful.”

Jennifer retired and eventually moved to Golden in 2011. “There is something about Golden that, for me, has allowed me to have community again,” says Jennifer. She helped care for grandson Luke but continued to travel and remain active with her husband. In 1983, a Raquel Welch video inspired her to learn and practice yoga. Forty years later, she was asked to take the lead for an outdoor yoga class after a teacher’s illness. “When you’re outside, you really feel like you’re melting into the earth,” says Jenifer. “While going into postures, you’re watching the changing seasons more intimately. It’s just so nice to provide a place and a space for people to come together and let it all go.”

When asked about getting back to teaching, Jennifer says, “I really love it, I especially love being in a position in my life where a group of people come together. There is no pressure on anybody for anything other than to show up and be present. I feel like I’m able to help keep a small portion of the world moving. That’s kind of a cool thing.”


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