Jennifer Crockett is the 2012 Mom Congress Delegate for Kentucky. She is married and has two daughters – Sarah, 8 and Emma, 4. Jenn works full time as a human resources specialist for the Federal government, and serves as the PTA President for her daughter’s elementary school. She is an education and work-life advocate, and has a passion for family engagement, education policy/news and work-life balance.
What book is currently on your nightstand? The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
School Involvement: I have been a parent in Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington, KY since 2008, when my oldest daughter entered Kindergarten. From day one, I have been involved and engaged: attending PTA meetings, volunteering in the school by reading to the class, lending a helping hand at school events and programs, and actively participating in parent-teacher conferences. I have served as Communications and Newsletter chair and President for my local PTA. I also serve as Communications Chair for Kentucky’s 16th District PTA. In December, I was one of 10 moms in the country selected to attend the National PTA Grassroots Advocacy Training of Trainers in Alexandria, Virginia. I also completed grassroots advocacy training in Kentucky.
One thing that is going great in education in your state: We recently received a NCLB waiver and implemented common core standards. These pose challenges, but overall will enhance education in Kentucky, therefore leading to better educated children and a stronger workforce for our state.
One thing you wish could be improved in education in your state: Outreach to lower income schools and students, such as those in lower income areas, homeless families and their children, and families and children in Eastern Kentucky (branded for being lower income and non-educated).
Your favorite teacher (and why): Mr. Ryan, High School English Literature. He had a great emphasis on public speaking and speech writing. We would read a novel, then write and present a speech on how that novel affected us. His emphasis on public speaking still resonates with me today.
Favorite quote: "If you can dream it, you can do it" – Walt Disney
Favorite school lunch as a child: One packed by my mother.
Favorite subject in school (and why): Any social science (social studies, economics, psychology, sociology); I have always been intrigued by people and the many cultures and economies of the world. I was a foreign exchange student in Bolivia, South America upon graduation from high school. I spent 7 months in Bolivia and learned to speak, read and write Spanish fluently.
Biggest wish for your kids: To be great scholars and find/do what they love!
Most rewarding/challenging stage of parenthood thus far (and why): I feel that I am currently living the most rewarding and challenging stages simultaneously. The preschooler age is very rewarding and I currently have a 4-year-old preschooler. This is rewarding to me in that they still rely on you for pretty much everything, but are constantly learning and looking to you to teach and guide them. These are still the formative years, and that to me is a very rewarding time. My 8-year-old, on the other hand, is in 3rd grade, which has been her most challenging school year yet. Not only is the work more difficult for her this year, but we also changed to common core standards and have undergone that challenge. My husband and I have really been involved with her homework and schoolwork, more so than previous years, as this is the first year it has been absolutely necessary. We came up with a creative approach to share the responsibility by assigning one parent as the Reading/English parent and one as the Math parent. I am the Reading/English (and all others besides math). This approach has proven to be successful for our daughter this year.