“From the time I was in first grade, I knew that I wanted to become a teacher, but I promised my parents that I would consider a career in medicine, as well,” said Ensor. “When I graduated, I realized that my heart was in the classroom, and I pursued a Master of Arts in Teaching so that I could become a classroom teacher.”
Ensor graduated from Furman University in Greenville, SC, with a Bachelors of Arts in English. To become fully certified as an English teacher, she completed a Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of South Carolina. Eventually, she also completed a Master of Arts in English at USC, as well.
Ensor came to Shore Regional in 2002 after teaching at Middletown High School North for seven years. Prior to that, she worked in financial aid administration at three different universities.
Ensor discussed the challenges of starting out earlier in her career.
“When I first started teaching in South Carolina, I had a teaching load of 175 students. To teach them writing was a daunting task, as I never stopped grading papers,” she explained. “That challenge has not disappeared, and a few new ones have been added: engaging students in reading when many of them find that activity to be tedious and frustrating, introducing them to the cultures that produced the literature they are studying, and making the classroom experience meaningful to each individual in my classroom.”
However, she feels that she learns more from her students than they do from her, and their energy and enthusiasm keep teaching exciting. She also continues to be inspired from the relationships she has with her colleagues.
“I find the atmosphere here to be collegial, and I always look forward to coming to work because of the amazing faculty and staff at the school,” she said.
Since joining the Shore Regional family, Ensor has brought many new and exciting aspects to the district.
In 2003, Ensor brought Model UN to Shore; and in 2018, with Carol Burkley, she started the e-sports program at the school. She also advises the Contemporary Arts and Sciences Association (CASA), and Voices literary magazine. Early in her Shore experience, she was the advisor for The Beacon, and they published printed copies of the newspaper at least monthly.
Additionally, Ensor had the honor of being named Shore’s Teacher of the Year for 2003-2004, and she was awarded Monmouth University’s Roberts Charitable Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009. As a part of a teacher’s study tour with the National Consortium on Teaching about Asia (NCTA), she traveled to China and Japan with the director of the Weatherhead Institute at Columbia University to experience firsthand the literary and artistic traditions of those countries. She was also selected to participate in a sijo workshop hosted by the Sejong Institute (Harvard University) in Chicago.
Ensor is just as busy outside the classroom as she is in it. She is a certified rowing instructor, and she introduces the sport to about 30 adult novices each summer, as well as competes in rowing regattas.
“I also enjoy reading, cycling, sailing, crafting, and traveling with my family and dogs,” said Ensor. “My husband and I have just started rowing together in a coastal double, and we plan to document our travels with our boat on a YouTube channel. Our son lives in Charlotte, NC, and our daughter and her husband live in a suburb of Nashville. When we can, we visit them in their respective cities. Percy and Onya, the two English cockers we have re-homed, bring energy and fun into our house daily.”
Congratulations to Mrs. Ensor!