Substitue Rena Jennings conducting the Eblen Intermediate Band.

Buncombe County Schools (BCS) employs thousands of extraordinary staff members all across the district. BCS takes pride in recruiting the best in order to inspire, educate, encourage and elevate students on a daily basis. This BCS Staff Spotlight recognizes one of several dedicated substitute teachers who strives daily to make a difference to those around her. 

Rena Jennings calls the Erwin District home. Over the past 15 years she has been a substitute at Joe P. Eblen Intermediate, Clyde A. Erwin Middle and Clyde A. Erwin High School. She pours her heart and knowledge daily into the students, staff, schools and community. Throughout the school year she can be seen conducting a band class, playing with students in physical education, or helping a student reach greater heights.

“I enjoy helping people every day I come to work,” said Mrs. Jennings. “I have opportunities to be involved and invested in the community here. Some students have had me from Eblen all the way up to their high school years. I look forward to being in the schools as it’s a new adventure everyday to see new and familiar faces.”

Some describe Mrs. Jennings as being a great asset to the schools and a ray of sunshine to those she encounters. 

“Rena truly is one of a kind that you won’t find anywhere else,” said Eblen Intermediate Head Secretary and Bookkeeper, Cassandra Gaddy. “Anytime a staff member or student is having a hard day she is the light that makes it better. She is the most selfless person I have ever met, and the students love and adore her. She may not know it, but she has impacted the staff and students' lives forever.” 

Mrs. Jennings' reason for showing up is simple but pure. “I don’t do this because I have to. I do this to make a difference. This is my second family here.”

All substitute teachers play a vital role in the success of a student's learning experience. 

“Our substitute teachers ensure that the learning process continues when a regular teacher is absent,” said BCS Human Resources Assistant Director Brian Propst. “The men and women that sub build positive relationships with students even if their time in the classroom is brief. They also bring new perspectives and experiences with them. Their availability ensures that schools can continue to operate smoothly.”

Substitutes with BCS make between $120-$145 a day, have the flexibility to pick their schedule, and have a safe and supportive school environment. To find out more information about becoming a substitute teacher, please visit the job postings page. 

Mrs. Jennings talking to a group of students during PE.