Spotlight…Jeffra Kill

Thank you Jeffra for letting us all get to know you more. I hope you are all ready to read about some really great adventures!

(Note: The slide show has a few pictures, so wait a few seconds to see the them all.)

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I grew up in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee in a family of 4 kids.  I am the oldest and only girl.  As a kid I would have characterized myself as responsible, intelligent, and independent but I think my little brothers just thought of me as bossy and called me “the other mom”.  I grew up playing outside, loved animals of all kinds, read any book I could get my hands on, and enjoyed all the seasons in New Hampshire.  I especially loved sapping season where our family made our own maple syrup.  We were raised being the only members of the church in our area and back when church Sunday school was in the morning, sacrament meeting was in the afternoon, and all the classes were throughout the week, we had a 2 hour round trip to church 4 times a week.  When I was in the 3rd grade we had some families move into the area that were Mormon and we started a little branch that met in our home.  They were such good times!

 Throughout school I was a good student, played the clarinet and piano, loved art and foreign language and culture, sang in the school choir, was in plays and musicals, and liked spending a lot of time with my family.  Our family participated as cast members in the Hill Cumorah Pageant every summer for probably about 6 or 7 years and really grew to love the Book of Mormon and church history.  As a family we also hosted numerous foreign exchange students from countries all over the world.  I spent a lot of time babysitting as a teen, and had a very successful business that enabled me to earn all my money for college.  I loved working with kids and knew then that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.

 When I was 16 I had the opportunity to travel as a foreign exchange student to Ecuador and live with a family there for most of my senior year of high school.  It was a great experience where I was able to practice my years of high school Spanish and become fluent.  I traveled all over the country, including the Galapagos Islands.  While I was in Ecuador I applied for BYU and got accepted.  It was a good thing I got in because it was the only school I applied for.   

 My years at BYU were so much fun!  I did a double major of Elementary Education and Spanish Education.  During my studies there I did a semester abroad in Concepcion, Chile, took time off to serve a mission in the Barcelona, Spain mission, and later did my student teaching in a 5th grade at a public school in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico.  By the time I was back from Mexico I was totally addicted to traveling and was constantly planning my next trip.

 I moved back to New Hampshire and over the years have taught middle school Spanish, 4th grade, and elementary (K-5) grade Spanish, University Spanish and Teacher Education courses, and pretty much everything in between.  Also, since graduating from college I got my Master’s degree in Education and as a grad student took a group of college juniors on a semester abroad to study literacy in New Zealand.  I’ve also done quite a bit of personal travel to places like Thailand,Samoa, Fiji, Poland, Czech Rep, Bosnia, Croatia, Costa Rica, Spain, France, Germany, Peru, Italy, etc.  One summer my best friend and I hiked the Camino de Santiago- a 500 mile medieval pilgrimage route across the north of Spain, and survived to tell about it! It was incredibly difficult, but one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  Most recently I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Argentina so I spent last summer visiting public schools, meeting with officials from the Argentine department of education and other local and national educators and lawmakers.  What an amazing experience! 

 Probably one of my favorite things in life is church.  I have always loved going to church and being involved as much as possible.  I have served in just about every calling a sister can have.  Most have been difficult in one way or another, but they have helped me to grow, learn and strengthen my testimony.  My favorite calling so far has been as a temple worker.  I have seen some immediate blessing from when I started serving in the temple 3 years ago and I believe that meeting my husband was a direct blessing from that service. 

 Karl and I initially met online of all places, and after writing all of 2 emails to each other, our first meeting was under the Christmas tree in my hometown of Wolfeboro.  We joke about our meeting being just like a TV Hallmark Christmas special, “Boyfriend for Christmas” or some other cheesy title, but it really was magical and amazing.  We got married last August, bought and moved into a “fixer-upper” house in Eliot, I began a new teaching job as a Spanish teacher at Marshwood middle school, and we started working on our family immediately!  We are expecting a little one (and are waiting to be surprised on the sex of the baby) in July and know there are lots of other changes and surprises in store for us!

A few of my likes, in addition to travel, education and kids are gardening, cooking (NOT baking), letter boxing (like geocaching), genealogy, reading, outdoor activities like hiking, camping and kayaking, photography, animals, and trying new things. 

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2 Responses to “Spotlight…Jeffra Kill”

  1. Lori Says:

    It was so fun to hear about all of Jeffra’s world travels. They sound like some amazing experiences!

  2. Ginger Johnson Says:

    Thanks for sharing!

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