Q&A with Jennifer Seydel

An educator with more than 35 years’ experience preparing youth for success in an ever-changing world, Jennifer Seydel is the executive director of the Green Schools National Network where she brings together all sectors invested in green, healthy, sustainable schools through professional development, network development, and research.

Illustration by: Tristan Chace

Q.What is your greatest fear?
Not making the most of each day.

Q.Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Rachel Carson

Q.Which living person do you most admire?
Michelle Obama

Q.What is your greatest extravagance?
My new Trek bicycle!

Q.What is your favorite journey?
Any hike or paddle into the backcountry!

Q.What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Patience. We do not have the time to wait…the future is at stake!

Q.Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I grew up in a military family and picked up some colorful language. I am not sure you would want to print them!

Q.What is your greatest regret?
I try to live life without regrets. Any regret I have ever had, I have addressed so that it does not linger.

Q.Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to tell a good joke!

Q.What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I believe that each experience provides a foundation for what is to come. I am currently working to create a strong organization that positions green, healthy, sustainable schools in the broader conversation related to education reform.

Q.If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Starfish. The starfish has the ability to regrow its bits and pieces as they are torn away. They symbolize the capacity for rebirth and renewal…something that is essential for any changemaker.

Q.If you could choose what to come back as one thing, what would it be?
A tree because it gives to life more than it takes

Q.What is your most treasured possession?

Q.What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Loss of a loved one.

Q.What is your favorite occupation?
Educator and coach

Q.What is your most marked characteristic?

Q.Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother, my husband, and the many mentors who have supported my journey and inspire me to continue to challenge the status quo.

Q.What is it that you most dislike?

Q.What is your motto?
Live, love, laugh, and be happy.

Q.What will you have them put on your tombstone?
She followed her path and left a trail.