‘A mother to many’: Shooks savors opportunity to work with area children

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Jenny Shooks is pictured with her husband Greg, and three daughters – Clare, 9, Alison, 7, and Lauren, 5. 


CENTRAL LAKE – When it comes to mothers and kids in Central Lake, you can't think of anyone if you don't think of Jenny Shooks, who many call "a mother to many".

Born and raised in Central Lake in a large family of six children, Jenny McPherson married lifelong Central Lake farmer Greg Shooks and soon added three daughters – Clare, 9, Alison, 7, and Lauren, 5, to the Shooks family.

"I've always loved kids," Shooks said. "I helped with my own brothers and sisters as much as I could when I was at home with my mom and dad, and knew from a young age that I wanted to have children in my life as much as possible."

That included serving as a student assistant teacher in high school, and working with third-graders, where she "felt right at home" working with kids.

From there she earned a degree in elementary education, and went on to teach elementary physical education and then preschool.

"I was also employed as an after school program director and, more recently, worked as a coordinator in an early childhood program," Shooks said. "It was this position where I had the opportunity to not only work with children, but also in a role where I supported the whole family.

"I know firsthand the joys and also the challenges that come with parenting," she added. "We all know that they don’t give out an instruction booklet when you are handed your newborn baby. Yet it is one of the most important, meaningful roles anyone can have that will leave a lasting impact on our future as a society.

"Sometimes all that families need is a few words of encouragement or to be pointed in the direction of a resource, or maybe they are just in need of something concrete like diapers," Shooks stated. 

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