Our town, our people — Creighton Jenness

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS - From working with teachers at Miller Middle School to helping coach soccer at Marshalltown Community College, Creighton Jenness is an active community member.

“Our town, our people” is a weekly Q&A with a local resident who is active in the community. Have a suggestion for someone we should talk to? Email T-R news editor Emily Barske at ebarske@timesrepublican.com. 

Creighton Jenness works at Miller Middle School as an instructional coach. He works with various teachers, and occasionally students, on the practice of teaching. Jenness is also a part-time soccer coach at Marshalltown Community College. He has lived in town for 27 years.

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: “I am passionate about God, my family, soccer, my friends and education. 

Q: What community activities do you participate in?

A: “I get to work with MCC soccer, I go to Marshalltown Church of the Nazarene, (I am a part of) an adult Bible study and sometimes serve at the House of Compassion.”

Q: What do you enjoy about this community? 

A: “I enjoy that it is a big community, but also kind of a small one from the standpoint of there is a lot of things to do here in Marshalltown. But if you can’t find exactly what you want, it’s not too far away from bigger towns as well. With me being in soccer, and also education, there is a lot of opportunities to work with students and staff. There’s a lot of churches. There’s a lot of restaurants and places to go in the community. 

We have soccer at MCC, and also at the high school. There are the new courts, (located on) 13th Street, where the old tennis courts are.”

Q: What changes do you feel need to be made in the community?

“I would love to see more family and mental health services here in Marshalltown. Being in education, the last figure that I saw was that Iowa is 50th out of 50 states with funding for mental health. And along with that, a lot of the trauma that’s been going on, people need to have an outlet to talk about and work through a lot of those social and emotional things.”

Q: What social stigma do you wish you could change?

A: “People can kind of be afraid of people who are different, whether that be an ethnicity, a race (or) a status. And if people were able to go ahead and meet people and talk with them, and spend time to build those relationships, that that would go a long way. A lot of people have a lot of things in common, and they are just too afraid sometimes to even build relationships.”

Q: What advice would you pass on to a young person?

A: “Get out and know people. Spend time with others. Find that thing you really enjoy, and, work on that skill set. Don’t be afraid to take risks. And know that you are loved by a lot of people.”