Teacher Jen is our incoming Youngsters’ teacher! She possesses a passion for working with children and strives to cater to all children’s curiosities and their love of play. She’s the biggest advocate of learning through play, being silly, and playing pretend. She feels preschool is about socialization and messy art (don’t worry we have art smocks).
Teacher Jen graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an option in Human Services, a degree that prepared her for work with children and families alike, with classes ranging from early motor development, children with special needs and an exploration course in family, school, and community collaboration. Teacher Jen has had many different experiences working with children: as a nanny, a treatment counselor at the Wynn Watt school, a Court Appointment Special Advocate (CASA), and with the S.M.I.L.E program. Jen hung up her social work hat after 10 years to be a full-time mom. Her new desk became the floor, spreadsheets transformed into abstract crayon drawing and work emails transformed into children’s books. She joined the GPPS community in 2014 as a parent. Both of Teacher Jen’s children are Gabriel Park Preschool graduates. She immediately felt a connection to the school and the unique sense of community that exists among parents, staff and the acting board members. Now that Teacher Jen’s children are in elementary school, she is thrilled to be teaching within this incredible community.
Play is a child’s most important work, and Teacher Jen loves the Youngster 2’s class! The rate of language acquisition at this age never ceases to amaze her. In Teacher Jen’s free time she loves being outdoors whether it’s hiking, camping, or exploring all of Portland’s amazing parks. She holds great admiration for Teacher Jean and values their friendship. Teacher Jen is thankful and honored to continue to be a part of this wonderful, growing preschool community.
that inspire. Together, she loves exploring the world!
Teacher Jean has been in the education field for over 40 years, teaching both children and educators. Beginning in Wisconsin, she earned a Daycare Certification, attended UWM, MATC and worked as a preschool teacher. She then headed west to teach at Educational Environments School in Eugene, before planting herself in Portland as Director/Lead Teacher at St. Paul Preschool for 28 years. Teacher Jean then started the preschool at St. Ignatius School, taught at Mt. Park Playschool for fifteen years, and more recently, she worked at Little Artists Preschool at the Multnomah Arts Center for three years. Over the years, Teacher Jean has also lead parenting classes, tutored young children in reading, conducted creative nature training seminars for OAEYC educators, as well as worked as a storyteller at the Portland Children’s Museum, an independent consultant for school-age programs, an arts and craft teacher, illustrator and artist. Teacher Jean’s community service has provided her with many opportunities such as coordinating the Toyama, Japan-Portland, Oregon “Young Wings” sister city program for hundreds of teens and adults visiting Oregon, and speaking at World Congress in Kobe, Japan. Awards she has received include Armbruster, Brownsfield, Presidential Honor, Metro Region, Outstanding Project of the Year, and JCI Senator.
Along the way, Teacher Jean has gained experience in various educational
philosophies and approaches including Montessori, Piaget, Reggio and more traditional schools, and she believes that merging several different styles of learning mimics the diverse world in which we live in. She is excited to teach the Preschool and Pre-K Programs at GPPS, and enjoys creating a diverse and fun curriculum for our mixed aged classroom. In her spare time, Teacher Jean has dabbled in various art forms, she delights in camping and gardening as well as dreaming up ideas and activities to introduce to our children. It is her overwhelming passion to work with children and their families as they discover and grow.
Gabriel Park Preschool supports all efforts to instruct members in environmental consciousness and responsibility. All school purchases and disposals are made with consideration for the immediate as well as long term effects they will have on our planet and our children’s future. In particular, we practice daily recycling, wash all our dishes instead of using disposable products, and grow a small garden each spring.
Creating exciting theme related classroom environments is Teacher Jean’s specialty. It is the framework for enhancing early childhood learning through discovery. By infusing multiple subject areas such as drama, music, art, movement, language and science with a diverse curriculum, Teacher Jean makes learning fun. She sees children as unique individuals with inquisitive minds and spirited bodies, ready for hands-on experiences
The Gabriel Park Preschool curriculum is based on a "learn through play" philosophy. Through their natural love of play, children explore and manipulate their environment to discover and learn new things, developing and growing at their own rate. To encourage this type of learning, the GPPS classroom is set up in learning centers. With the teacher’s gentle guiding, children will explore each area at their leisure. Learning centers emphasize socialization, group skills, fine motor skills, literacy, math, science and artistic expression.
A non profit cooperative preschool at
5815 SW Gillcrest Court, Portland OR 97221