My name is Jennifer L. Graham and I am the Innovation and Strategic Development Facilitator for Cumberland County Schools in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Born and raised in Delhi, New York, I began teaching from my basement when I was six or seven and had convinced the poor souls who thought they were coming for a playdate that we should play school…for hours…with me as the teacher. After refining my skills at the State University of New York at Geneseo, I secured my first teaching position with Cumberland County Schools in 1995. I was an elementary teacher for ten years before becoming a building Instructional Coach, and then a District Instructional Coach.
I either don’t have enough hobbies or I love learning, and I earned my first Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2003. Since then, I have earned licensure in Academically and Intellectually Gifted Education, Elementary Mathematics, and School Administration.
My two children drive me personally and professionally. Kelly’s educational journey represents one of perseverance, and her creativity and talent with a pastry bag will ensure her future success. Carson is an ever-present reminder of the work that remains to be done to understand children with autism and how to effectively reach and teach them. He makes me laugh daily, and I dream of a world that accepts and appreciates him.
Although I long for the days when I will be able to read whole books in a day, attend musicals on weekday evenings, and sleep until true daylight, I know when they arrive I will mourn the loss of my toy-strewn living room and uber-mom shuttle service. I strive to live in the moment and capture each day as a memory to savor when the quieter times take hold.