Getting to Know: Jobi McGuffie
Mrs. McGuffie joined Saint Mark’s in August 2018 as our elementary music and strings teacher. She holds a Master of Music in oboe performance from California State University, Long Beach; a Bachelor of Music in oboe performance from the University of Hartford; and a degree in music education from Eastern Michigan University. Jobi comes from a family of educators and has been teaching since 2001, most recently, at The Gooden School and High Point Academy.
Mrs. McGuffie was drawn to Saint Mark’s because, as an Episcopal school, it offers space for creative, inclusive, and age-appropriate worship; a strong community life; a focus on physical, mental, and emotional health; and a commitment to equality and inclusion. Since starting here, the highlight for Mrs. McGuffie has been the welcoming kindness from all of the faculty, staff, students, and parents. We asked her a few questions to get to know her, as she begins her tenure.
1. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love spending time outdoors with my family. We enjoy hiking and camping and do both as often as life permits. I also love spending time in my little garden, watching bees and propagating as many succulents as I can.
2. What book are you currently reading?
I LOVE BOOKS! No genre is off limits. I read at least one book a week. I recently finished Counting By 7s and am currently reading Hope Was Here.
3. Tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Music class was my happy place at school. For a long time, academics were very difficult for me. When I heard the piece “Gabriel’s Oboe” by Ennio Morricone on the radio, I told my parents I wanted to play whatever that instrument was. After a few years of begging, I began the oboe. It became the vehicle that allowed me to realize that I could do anything as long as I put my mind to it. It might have taken me longer than my friends to master certain objectives, but I knew that if I tried my best, I would eventually get better at whatever I pursued.
This led to full scholarships for my undergraduate and masters in music performance. I began teaching and working in the Episcopal church in 2001, and after a brief stint where I entertained the notion of becoming a priest, I realized that teaching was my vocation.
4. What do you hope your students will learn from their time in your class?
I hope that students will feel joyful. I very much operate on the notion that students will remember very little about what I do or say during class, but they will remember how they felt. I hope they make lifelong connections about music.
5. What is your favorite quote or saying? Why?
Pretty much anything my hero, Mister Rogers, ever said. In very simple terms he spoke profound statements that seem to apply to all people. One favorite of his is, “It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have.”
6. Anything else we might be surprised to know?
I am a bee enthusiast and apparently a very loyal Buffalo Bills fan (via marriage).