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EDCOE Team Member Spotlight - Jen Parker

10:00 AM - May 26, 2022

Jen Parker's portrait

Briefly describe your background (where you grew up, family, why you came to work for EDCOE).

I was born in Oklahoma but grew up mostly on the East Coast, moving through the Jersey Shore, Philadelphia region, and Wilmington Delaware.  I met my husband when I was at the University of Delaware pursuing my undergrad degree, and we moved to the San Diego area following graduation.  We have been in sunny SoCal for almost 18 years.  Visiting and remaining close with my family is always really fun because my brother lives in Las Vegas and my parents live in beautiful Cabo San Lucas.  

What is your department, title, primary work location, and how long have you worked for EDCOE?

I work with the Charter SELPA as a Program Coordinator supporting Compliance and Alternative Dispute Resolution.  I work from the San Diego area.  Early in my career as a School Psychologist, I worked at Aspire Public Schools, which is a Charter Organization within our SELPA.  I received such high-quality support from the SELPA, at a time when I was growing in my skills as an educator.  I was so excited for the opportunity to reconnect with the SELPA and reengage in supporting the mission of Charter schools across the state.  

Describe how your role helps support programs/schools/students directly or indirectly.

What I love so much about my role is that I still have the privilege of working directly with our Charters.  In my role, I support the work of an amazing team of Program Specialists who provide direct technical assistance, resources, professional learning opportunities, and more.  All of our work is geared towards supporting high-quality and inclusive educational opportunities for students with disabilities across the state.  

What do you most appreciate about your department/team?

My favorite thing about our department is the collective knowledge, energy, and dedication of the teammates.  Every one of our teammates has a wealth of experience and a true service mindset.  Our Charters both big and small, face a number of complex and different challenges.  Our team works to ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to approaching these challenges for the benefit of students.  The atmosphere of teamwork is palpable.

What is your proudest moment at EDCOE? Why?

There are so many proud moments at EDCOE, but I think a major highlight for me was participating in the EDCOE Core Values work.  It was very humbling and fulfilling to collaborate with teammates representing the vast number of diverse EDCOE workgroups.  I was inspired by our colleagues' dedication to building a fulfilling and meaningful foundation, from which we can better work in the service of our partners.  There was a tremendous focus on equity, which is so important given the volume of support that EDCOE provides to communities within the county and across the state.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Travel, travel, travel!  My favorite place to travel is Europe- where my husband and I have been all over, spanning from the far north of Scotland to the far south of Greece and both western and eastern Europe.  Our next big trip is to French Polynesia in August, for my 40th birthday!  

What is something many people may not know about you?

I once portrayed Brittney Spears in a Carnival Cruise Ship revue.  I won the honor in a cruise ship karaoke competition where I was definitely off-key but got to polish off some solid choreography skills.  It was hilarious and of course, very memorable! 

If you could meet anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

I would love to meet Rick Steves- not just because I love traveling so much, but I just love his outlook on how travel broadens people's perspectives on the beautiful fabric of cultures that make up our world. 

From supervisor Ginese Quann:

Jen has gone above and beyond with our team through the pandemic, redesign, and staffing shortages. She is always positive and shows empathy for her colleagues.

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