4th Grade Crew Teacher
Meet Ms. Jenny!
“Where your talents and the world’s needs cross, there lies your vocation.” -Aristotle. Our teachers and staff here at Renaissance have all traveled different paths but their values and their passions have, thankfully, led them all here to the Renaissance community. This couldn’t be more true for our fourth grade teacher, Ms. Jenny. Jenny knew from an early age that she wanted to be an advocate for children, and while she believed that would be through the legal system, Jenny discovered that her passions and her talents best served children in the classroom, specifically, in our classrooms at Renaissance. We are so thankful for the path that led Ms. Jenny to our school and value the talents, worldwide wonder, and determination she brings to our students day in and day out … in the physical classroom and even now in her virtual classroom.
Ms. Jenny is a Colorado native, born in Denver. The daughter of a doctor and a nurse with a brother and a sister, Jenny attended the Graland Country Day School in Cherry Creek. As a child and teenager, Jenny was always busy with sports whether it was gymnastics, diving, soccer, or lacrosse. Her summers were spent going away to gymnastics camps and competing when she could. During her childhood Jenny’s parents got divorced and she moved to Montana with her mom. Jenny commented that it was really difficult leaving the big city to live in a more rural area in Montana, so Jenny went to boarding school and graduated from the American School in Switzerland. While at the American School, Jenny started their peer counseling program and was awarded the service award from her graduating class. Jenny’s time abroad allowed her to travel all over the world with extended trips to Africa, Spain, Greece, and England. From a young age, Jenny always knew she wanted to work with kids and be an advocate for them; she initially thought that advocacy would come from Psychology and Law. At Pepperdine, her initial educational focus was in Psychology and Pre-Law but after her Psychology professor saw something special in her and encouraged her to take an education course she switched majors and graduated early with her teaching credentials. Jenny started teaching right away, initially in California and then came back to teach in Colorado. Jenny went back to her roots and taught a year at Graland Elementary then came to Douglas County where she opened and taught at Copper Mesa. Jenny is in her twentieth year of teaching with the majority of that time spent in Douglas County. Jenny received her Masters in Education Administration in 2007 with the hopes to one day lead an entire school.
We are thankful that Jenny’s Psychology professor led her to an education course that allowed her to volunteer in a classroom. “As soon as I was in a classroom, as a volunteer, I felt like I could make a really big impact, it definitely felt right. I have just always had the belief that kids can do more than we think they can. Whatever area I would have worked in I knew I was going to be a voice for children.” Working in the district at a few different schools Jenny learned more about the philosophy of Renaissance and knew that she would want to land here. Jenny focused on innovative teaching practices and teaching students world experiences and these values aligned perfectly with the values at REMS. When her daughter, Hayden (now a third grader at REMS), was born, Jenny contacted Ms. Deborah to put Hayden on the school waitlist. Of course Ms. Deborah informed her that we don’t have a waitlist, but it was the start of her pursuit to become a part of the REMS teaching community. Jenny was an awarded teacher before she came to Renaissance as a 2014 World Class Educator and had experience in the classroom as well as in professional development positions. When a position opened up at the school when Hayden was in Kindergarten Jenny jumped at the opportunity to apply, interview for it, and accept the position!
Ms. Jenny’s favorite aspect of Renaissance are the experiences we give students. “Growing up as a kid raised with worldly experiences and looking at the world through different eyes, we teach kids that they can make a difference, that they matter, and we give them authentic experiences … they can win or they can fail and we’re along the way with them. We motivate them to change the world!” In addition to the experiences we give students here at REMS, Ms. Jenny really enjoys teaching with Mr. Tyler. “I love working with Mr. Tyler! We’re funny and goofy together and get along really well. We share many experiences together, our personalities really compliment each other.” Jenny and Tyler at the fourth grade level are certainly an awesome team and their partnership really rounds out the fourth grade experience for our students.
If you’ve ever walked into the building you have most likely seen Ms. Jenny’s classroom. Jenny loves that her classroom is at the very front of the building because the location allows her to see so many current and former students each and every day, and the ensuing visits and hugs that go along with that. “It’s so great to start my day with their visits!” In addition to rocking teaching fourth grade, Jenny has worked tirelessly at Renaissance on school sustainability as the leader of the Eco Warriors. Jenny has made it her personal mission to get Renaissance a hydration station as well as working, as a school, on recycling, composting, and worm gardening. “I love to find unique ways that kids can reach out and be a part of something bigger than themselves.” Even during the quarantine Jenny is finding ways to connect students with the community in creative ways. “We’re partnering with the Luvin Arms Sanctuary where students are reading to different-abled chickens! These specific chickens can’t be in the general population but still need stimulation and attention, so the kids are providing that for them. That speaks to who I am … I want kids to apply their learning in authentic situations, whether that is using sewing machines to make reusable snack bags or reading to chickens. The big picture is for kids to feel like what they do matters. All learning can be integrated with purposeful products.” If your child has ever come home with a smile on their face after an inspiring or exciting Workshop Wednesday you can thank Ms. Jenny for being the driving force behind the implementation of a day, each week, where our children can explore their interests outside of the classroom.
Ms. Jenny lives in alignment with the values she shares in her classroom … life is about experiences. Jenny and Hayden do a lot of traveling whenever possible whether that’s to Mount Rushmore or Mesa Verde or Honduras, Jenny is always looking to broaden her worldview and gain the appreciation that comes from traveling the world. Recently, Jenny and Hayden went on a cruise to Belize and Honduras and swam with dolphins and manatees. When they’re not traveling the world, Jenny and Hayden love to spend time at the theater.
The Renaissance community is certainly richer for having Jenny on board. Jenny’s passion for thinking beyond the individual and dreaming big has brought so many wonderful opportunities to our students whether that’s through the passions being sparked by Workshop Wednesdays or Eco Warriors or the inspiration created in her classroom; we are so thankful for all Ms. Jenny has done for our community and can’t wait to see how she continues to enrich our school community!