A Q&A With Middle School Math Teacher Ms. Stephanie Jean-Philippe

Posted by Pine Crest School on May 6, 2024 at 9:36 AM

By: Madison Rechter ’26


Meet Ms. Stephanie Jean-Philippe, a Middle School math and engineering teacher on the Pine Crest Fort Lauderdale campus. Originally from Haiti, Ms. Jean-Philippe moved to the United States when she was 16 years old. She imagined growing up to be an engineer, but as she entered her third year of college, she switched to studying math. Now, 11 years into her teaching career, she wouldn’t want to be doing anything else!

Stephanie Jean-Philippe Robotics

As a former student in Ms. Jean-Philippe’s class, I have seen her extraordinary personality pave the way for students to engage in her math lessons. Ms. JP, as she is affectionately known, has a way of bringing students together to think about math differently, one of my favorite activities was “graded classworks.” This activity allowed students to interact with each other while also learning and reviewing the previous math lesson—it allowed us to be more than peers and come together as friends while learning something new and challenging. 


Now, approaching her sixth year teaching at Pine Crest, I sat down to learn more about this dynamic educator.


Madison Rechter (MR): What brought you to Pine Crest?


Ms. Stephanie Jean-Philippe (JP): I had been living and working in Palm Beach County. My family had planned on moving further south, and as I started looking for schools for me and my son, Sael ’33, I wanted to find the best school—that is Pine Crest. 


MR: Have you always been passionate about math and engineering? What drew you to this field?


JP: I have always been passionate about mathematics. When I first moved to the United States, I did not speak English well, but math was universal, and it always made sense to me. No matter where I was in the world, even if I did not understand the language spoken, I could always do math.  

Jean-Philippe Middle School Math

MR: What do you enjoy most about teaching the subjects you teach? 


JP: I enjoy teaching math because students get to see it in all aspects of their lives and apply it. Math teaches us how to think logically and rationally and how to problem-solve, which are lifelong skills. 


MR: I know that you could be teaching anywhere, what keeps you at Pine Crest?


JP: The support we get from our administrative team is unparalleled. We feel heard, and our input is always welcome and valued. Additionally, there are many opportunities for professional growth and learning, and I value that. 


MR: Have you always worked with Middle School students? What do you enjoy most about working with this age group?


JP: Before working at Pine Crest, I taught high school for six years. It was an adjustment working with a different age group; however, I would not change it for the world! Middle School students are fun, curious, and excited about what is to come. 


MR: What has been your proudest moment as an educator?


JP: There are too many to count! It is especially meaningful to me when my former students reach out and let me know the positive impact I had on them. 


MR: Outside of the classroom, what do you enjoy doing? 


JP: I am very into fitness. I spend most of my free time working out, running, and watching a lot of gymnastics on TV. I am very passionate about seeing what the human body can do and how it can perform. 


MR: What is one thing your students would be surprised to know about you?


JP: One thing my students would be surprised to hear about me is, as much as I am into fitness, and that I grew up on an island, I do not know how to swim. I never learned to swim growing up and never taught myself in my adult years. 


MR: What advice would you offer to a new faculty member at Pine Crest?


JP: To any new faculty at Pine Crest, I would tell them, “Welcome!” This is an absolutely amazing place to be and not to be afraid to ask questions. Everybody is super nice and helpful, so whatever questions you may have, find someone who can help, and they will be more than happy to. My last piece of advice is to just enjoy the ride! It is a very fun place to be and work and opens doors to many new opportunities to grow and meet new people from all walks of life.

Topics: Faculty, Middle School, Robotics, 2024