Meet Kathryn Jasper

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Kathryn Jasper

Hi – my name is Kathryn and I’m a mom.

I’m a mom… doesn’t quite feel real yet. 10 months in and I still haven’t completely processed that this living, breathing, squirmy human is mine to nurture, care for, and mold into a functional person.

New internet besties? Confession. I have no idea what I’m doing.

Let’s back up…

Hi – my name is Kathryn. I was born and raised in Memphis. I had an entirely normal and wonderful childhood. Close family – twin brothers and still married parents (42 years and going strong, a great example for us all), great schools, super involved in my church, best friends ever. Like any good millennial, at varying points in my childhood, I sang in the choir, took tennis lessons, played the flute, took tap and ballet, played soccer and softball, participated in local theater productions, and played the piano.

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I started dating my husband Jake when I was 16 – a junior in high school. We actually knew each other in elementary school. He doesn’t remember me but I totally remember him. He was one of the cool older kids (a year ahead of me) and we were in the same CLUE class in 3rd/4th grade. Flash forward to high school and we started hanging out as friends. Just friends. I had a blast whenever I was around him but for some reason it did not dawn on me that there was a romantic interest – because when you’re 16 you’re sometimes not the most observant person! All it took was a car wreck and BAM I knew. No really – bam. We were hanging out and it happened on the way to dinner. I was driving. I misevaluated the two-way stop situation (there’s still contention about fault when the story comes up between us…) and a dizzying three seconds later, my car was about to hit a light pole. Jake’s calm demeanor, steady reassurance, and ability to make everything all better shone in that moment and I knew. I knew he’d be in my life forever.

Being a year ahead of me in school, Jake graduated and went off to the University of Tennessee. Naturally, I decided I would absolutely not go to UT. I wouldn’t be one of those girls. I wanted to carve my own path. Make my own journey. One weekend visit later and I was in love with the campus. Accepted to the honors college with scholarship package in hand, I followed Jake up to UT the following year. UT was the perfect fit for me and I was able to be involved in so many student leadership organizations there – it really was an amazing experience. I majored in history with a minor in political science. I was heavily involved in campus leadership, from being an Orientation Leader to Vice President of Panhellenic, working with alumni as a Student Alumni Associate, and more. Towards the end of my time at UT, my mom kept encouraging me to take an education class. She’s a smart one. Wise. Observant. She said – just take it and see if you like it. I enrolled in the education program as a minor and from the first class, I was hooked. I graduated from UT with my Master of Science in Teacher Education and came back to Memphis ready to change the world, one classroom at a time.

Newly married, idealistic, and energetic, I loved my time teaching in the city school system. After four years teaching there, I interviewed for a job at my current school, Hutchison, on a whim. I had a friend who worked there and thought it was a good fit. From the moment I stepped on campus, I felt at home. The zeal for learning, the attention paid to the whole girl, mind, body, and spirit, the positive energy of the faculty and staff, it was completely in line with my educational philosophy. And doesn’t life just work out some times? Remember my love of leadership programming at UT? In my current position at Hutchison, I am in charge of the leadership program for our upper school girls. I take my knowledge of curriculum design and instruction and couple it with the lessons learned in leadership and get to implement leadership instruction daily. Every day is different, I work with all 250+ of our high school girls, I always know what band is the newest fad and which shoes are totally in, and I get to dress up for Halloween and Christmas. Dream job.

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So now that that’s established, I’m Kathryn. And I’m a mom to Ruthie, the most perfect wonderful precious hilarious 10 month old there ever was. Ruthie was due December 29th, 2014 but had to be evicted from her warm, cozy home on January 2nd at 6:43pm via C-section. As I was being induced, no lie Ruthie crawled upwards toward my ribs, nestling her butt back into my ribcage where it had stayed for months prior to her dropping. I should have known then that she was going to be strong willed.

Being a mom is the best, hardest thing that has ever happened to me. I am still figuring out who I am as a person now that my existence is so closely intertwined to Ruthie’s, and I am totally ok with that. I thought I was ready to be a parent. I am a researcher by nature (I suppose my researcher parents ingrained that in me) and so for a few years prior to even thinking about bringing Ruthie into the world, I had bookmarked and pinned all sorts of parenting blog posts, advice columns, and lists. Lists! I made so many lists. Lists of things to register for, lists of things to pack for the hospital, lists of the best places to buy clothes, lists of apps for your phone. I was totally prepared. And then she actually arrived and that all went out the window. But you know what? I have found that a combination of listening to a lot of other people’s advice, reading all sorts of things on the interwebs, and listening to my gut instinct has served me well so far.

photo credit :: Photos by Ruthie
photo credit :: Photos by Ruthie

So here I am, figuring out this thing called parenthood. I’ve got a great husband, an amazing extended family, and a network of close friends that all help me (somewhat) keep up the put together façade. Especially when they let me know I have a glob of spit up in my hair. And that’s life as a mom!

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A native Memphian who did a 5-year stint in Knoxville for undergrad+grad school, Kathryn loves Memphis. Being a Memphian by birth and by choice, she takes any opportunity she can to share her favorite spots with anyone who will listen. Kathryn is married to her high school sweetheart, a fellow VOLS grad who now works at a local hospital, and mom to Ruthie, born January 2015, Kate, born August 2018, and their encore baby Eliza, born July 2020. After being team #midtownismemphis for (almost) her whole life, Kathryn traded in bungalows and original hardwood for closet space and access to Target. She's adjusting to being an East Memphis mom, but luckily still makes it to all her favorite Midtown spots. Being a mom is the hardest but best thing she's ever done.