Welcome to the family

After being a student favorite for years, Jason Klinger is officially a member of Team GH

September 8, 2015

Jason Klinger cracked a wide, toothy grin on a summer afternoon in his new classroom when it hit him: He’s a real, hired teacher at Grand Haven.

Klinger, 33, had been a frequent substitute teacher at GHHS for two and a half years, with hopes of eventually being hired by the district. His diligence and professionalism as a sub didn’t go unnoticed.

“He shows us that if you want something, you have to work for it,” senior Hannah Kenny said. “He didn’t just act like that job was going to be handed to him.”

A 1999 graduate of Grand Haven High School, Klinger was officially hired on July 13 at a Board of Education meeting. Born in England, Klinger moved to Grand Haven when he was 5 and has lived there ever since. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Grand Valley State University, he went into retail management and worked for Spartan stores. Five years later, Klinger got his teaching degree.

Klinger never expected he would get his dream job.

“I mostly just wanted to learn from the great community of teachers that there are here and get as much experience as I could,” Klinger said.

Principal Tracy Wilson, who was Klinger’s math teacher in high school, thinks he’s the man for the job.

“He is a very dedicated, committed, tireless worker,” Wilson said. “Is there an event you don’t see him at? Truly, he attends and supports our kids in every venue. He’s committed to making sure Grand Haven’s the best.”

Klinger, who is often seen pacing along the Harbor Drive sidewalk on summer evenings, has trouble believing that this is all real.

“I look up and go wow, I’m really here, this is my classroom,” he said. “It’s kind of hard to absorb.”

Klinger will teach World History to ninth grade students, and will also head the Model UN club. He has student-taught US History and US Government, and has long term subbed teaching Economics. World History, he says, is the social studies topic that he’s had the least practice with. Klinger is also working on his Master’s degree in education.

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