Spotlight: Jen Daniels
Jen Daniels is an assistant director with WIDA Professional Learning and contributes to the development of face-to-face and online workshops for K-12 educators in the WIDA Consortium.
Jen Daniels has been a member of the WIDA Professional Learning team for more than seven years. She has contributed to the development of face-to-face and online workshops for K-12 educators in the WIDA Consortium about such topics as formative language assessment, leadership, scaffolding, language for learning mathematics, and using the WIDA ELD Standards Framework to plan instruction. Jen recently took on a new role as an assistant director with WIDA Professional Learning.
Prior to joining WIDA, Jen worked in Colorado as a district language coach. During her time in Colorado, she earned a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies and studied educational language policy implementation within rural school districts. Before moving to Colorado, she taught in a youth village with a working dairy and citrus orchards. Her students had grown up speaking Amharic, Lithuanian, Russian and Hebrew.
Jen’s family alternated several times between living in the U.S. and in Israel, and her three sons experienced the challenges of transitioning into new schools and languages. One of her sons said, “No matter where we go, we’re missing someone.” The richness of being at home in two cultures, languages and countries has been worth the cost, even if it now requires international travel to visit family in person.
Jen especially enjoys the cross-departmental collaboration at WIDA, and one example of this is the WIDA Focus Bulletin: Scaffolding Learning for Multilingual Students in Math, that she co-wrote with her WIDA colleague, Ruslana Westerlund. She now lives in southwest Michigan and loves walking along the Lake Michigan shore.