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Jennifer McIntyre2017 Rising Alumni

Jennifer McIntyre

Jennifer McIntyre, who has a certificate in PK-12 administration, is the executive director of special education at Bloomington Public Schools. She pushes for high expectations for all students with disabilities, while recommending improvements in the district that will help close the achievement gap. Jennifer is highly respected for her active listening skills and strong relationships with parents. She works to build bridges with families about how to meet their children’s needs, and advocates for them at the district level to enact systemic changes.

Employer

Executive Director of Special Education, Bloomington Public Schools

Please list any past or current volunteer activities.

Member of the Minnesota Administrators of Special Education (MASE) legislative Committee

What is your favorite memory from the University of Minnesota?

Being a part of a cohort taking classes at various campuses within the University of Minnesota, we would spend Saturdays together designing programs, developing professional development plans and finding common ground in contract negotiations practice.

What professor(s) or course(s) were most influential during your time in CEHD?

Dr. Chris Sonenblum was the most influential for me as she facilitated our learning in a way that brought to life the daily expectations and decision making that would occur within this discipline. She provided many different viewpoints when contemplating a situation or analyzing the application for next steps. Through Dr Sonenblum's continued mentoring and dedication to the program and students, she has assisted me in implementing and applying skills and strategies through-out my career.

What was the impact and benefit of your educational experience in CEHD?

The development of strong foundational skills in teamwork has propelled me into various leadership positions.

Who has inspired you the most during your career?

My mother has been my greatest source of inspiration throughout my career. She has taught me the importance of compassion, understanding multiple perspectives and a genuine apology with an intent to understand will go further than anything else. And of course, that a well-developed strategic plan will set a strong foundation for building 3-5 year goals.

What skills are important to succeed as an emerging professional today?

It is important to be flexible, current in practice, engaged listener to families, students and teachers, building and maintaining a professional network and creativity.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, what do you do?

Anything my three children want to do.

How do others describe you?

Dynamic, energetic, focused, critical thinker, mindful of others and at times slightly (maybe highly) distracted. According to my daughters, while completing this question, a good mother.

How do you describe yourself?

A good team leader and strength finder in others. I believe my purpose is to help others find and honor the strength, beauty and differences within teams, situations and people.

What's a good book you'd recommend to others?

The Three Questions, by Jon J. Muth

If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be?

My Great Grandmother, Alphonsina Nierotz from Aymeville, Italy (Northen Alps). She was a strong female who immigrated to the United States by herself with five family children, one her own. She managed the trek to what she perceived to be a better life for herself and her children. Alphonsina was professionally trained seamstress in Paris and applied these skills in her new home in Wisconsin. We may have more than coffee.

What gets you excited about work?

The opportunity to work with creative team members who are passionate about making a difference within our schools.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A travel agent as all I wanted to do was see the world.

Outside of your job, how do you grow professionally?

I have an active professional network, I attend conferences, I am fascinated by the creativity in which other schools and districts are using to reach and engage students and families.

What is a "fun fact" about you?

I learned and intercepted Morse code for the US Army.