Jenny was raised by honest, hardworking parents who instilled in her a desire to help others and stand up for what is right. She grew up in rural Indiana where her father was a tool and die maker and her mother worked in a local insurance office. Graduating high school in 1988, Jenny was a factory worker before deciding to go back to school to become a teacher. She earned both her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Social Studies and her Master of Science in Language Education from Indiana University. As a non-traditional student, Jenny raised a family and worked while achieving her goal.
In 1999, Jenny became a born again Christian and felt called to combine her faith with her love of teaching. She created a partnership of local leaders to start a K-5 Christian school which opened in 2002. She served several roles for the school including fundraising, School Administrator, and third grade teacher before joining the Boy Scouts of America as a District Executive. In 2007, she returned to education as the lead teacher for Landmark Adult Education Center supporting their English as a New Language program. Jenny’s work grew the program from serving several dozen students to over 100 and doubling the staff size. She created programs to meet the needs of various levels of English learners, even offering a naturalization course for students applying to become U.S. citizens. Unfortunately, due to state budget cuts this important program was closed. Jenny transferred to an elementary music classroom where she taught K-5 music to over 600 students for two years before moving to Winston-Salem.
In 2011, while she was living in Indiana, the GOP decided to attack public education and, more specifically, the teachers' union. She stood up to their assault by creating a space where people could actively push back against their agenda and build solidarity. Jenny started a Facebook page that grew to over 9,000 people and focused on policy and lobbying for public education. It became a go-to place for people who wanted their voice heard and also empowered them to take action while creating a cohesive team among workers who collectively fights for a better future. Working with labor unions and civic groups to create rallies, town halls, letter writing campaigns, and whatever was needed to effect change, they ended up thwarting some of the horrible things trying to pass the legislature.
Since moving to North Carolina, Jenny has continued to be an active member of her community. She served as her community’s representative for the Meadowlark District Neighborhood Alliance which sought to mitigate the impact of a Wal-Mart store being built in an already traffic congested area. In 2013, she began working at Davidson County Community College as an English as a New Language teacher before going to work at John F. Kennedy High School, a Title 1 priority school, teaching 8th and 9th Social Studies. At JFK, Jenny serves as the Student Council Adviser; is a member of the School Improvement team; and has been the Department Chair for Social Studies the past two years. She is an active member of the National Education Association and joined the North Carolina Association of Educators and the Forsyth County Association of Educators when she began teaching in Winston-Salem.
Jenny lives in Winston-Salem with her husband Jeff, an engineer. Together they have a blended family with seven children. Their two oldest, Gage and Bowen, attend college in Indiana. Rachel, will be attending UNCG in the fall. Ben is a Junior at Reagan High School. Mathew is a Junior at Warsaw High School, in Indiana. And Caleb and Morgan attend Sherwood Forest Elementary in the 5th and 3rd grades respectively