March 2023 Member Spotlight – Jim Street

Jim Street grew up near Four Corners and never moved away, going to school at the University of Maryland and then becoming a teacher in the area.  He did not set out to teach, but in his third year at UMd teaching seemed like a reasonable thing to do as he saw a way of taking his love of doing things with becoming a shop teacher.  Jim was not a natural and there were times in his first two years when nothing seemed to work, but in his third year he found a way forward, enjoying the kids and getting a kick out of showing them how things worked.  Forty years later, he looks back at a wealth of relationships with former students, on Facebook, as fellow teachers at Blair or Takoma Park, and as personal friends who have children of their own.  Jim met his wife Emily Tien when Emily’s master’s degree had her observing a school where he was teaching.  They married, and soon brought two boys into the world, William and Brian. As with so many of us, having children became the impetus for finding a church and Jim and Emily found in UUCSS a good place to provide a religious education.

Jim left teaching last year, to try something new when many of us would be looking at how to spend our retirement.  He’s taken his skills in teaching and doing things to become a seasonal park ranger for the National Parks Service.  In his spare time, Jim likes hiking with Emily, playing senior level ice hockey, and fixing things.  For the latter, UUCSS has been a beneficiary   Jim is the property committee chair, maintaining our physical plant and most recently shepherding repairs in the aftermath of the flood in our main building.  He especially likes the camaraderie of working with folks to solve problems and seeing something tangible and meaningful for his efforts. Jim was also a cochair of an annual budget drive.  Asked what he’d like to say to the congregation, Jim said, “It’s a great community with lots of really wonderful, engaging, giving, and caring people. Get in there and do stuff and you’ll meet them.”