New ES, Jenna Friesen

Rachel Shulikov

The Charter Feature – 12/17/2018

This year ACA has a new ES –Jenna Friesen. She came to ACA in August 2018.

Friesen was born in Newberg Oregon.  She taught in Thailand for a year and a half, and was a nanny for a while. Her husband is from Nepal, and she has family in Oregon.

This is how Friesen got the job. “I [was] interviewed while I was still living in Thailand over [Video Conference] and then when I arrived in Portland I had an in-person interview.” said Friesen. When Friesen was living in Thailand, she taught 3rd grade ESL students for a year, and then she taught preschool/kindergarten students for half a year,

The first interview with Friesen made a positive impression on ACA administrators.  Diana Brainerd, lead ES said, “We were immediately impressed with her and asked her to come in for a face to face interview when she arrived back in the states … She was warm and open and super knowledgeable about kids and families. She went on saying, “she was the only person we interviewed who asked for a tour of the school. That impressed us, also.”

So far Friesen says that she is enjoying her new job, “I enjoy working at ACA because I get to have more of a personal relationship with my students and their families.” commented Friesen. “I like spending one on one time with my students, and helping them in areas that they need assistance. I also like [the] positive energy that ACA brings.”

Friesen was a nanny for some time, “I helped some families by teaching their homeschooled children.” She also has a degree in teaching K-12, “with an emphasis on early education,” Friesen commented “I have also worked in a few different child development centers based on Reggio Emilia as well.”

Before ACA’s new piano teacher came, Suzanne Edwards, Friesen filled in for one of the piano classes, and she said, “I enjoyed teaching the piano class, the students were motivated to learn. I also liked the autonomy that I had as far as lesson planning and curriculum.”

Abigail Reynolds, one of Friesen’s ES students said, “She is nice. She is a lot of fun and very funny.” When Abigail was asked if she thought Friesen was a good ES she said “Yes … she is still learning the systems but other than that yes.”

So far, Brainerd’s first impressions seem to be going good. “Students and teachers seem to really like Jenna. She is thoughtful, kind, and knowledgeable.” said Diana Brainerd. “Being a strong ES requires someone who is willing to listen to kids and parents and help guide them with their experience and knowledge. Jenna presented those qualities.”

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Brainerd, Diana. Email Interview. December 7th, 2018.

Friesen, Jenna. Email Interview. December 1st, 2018.

Reynolds, Abigail. Email Interview. December 9th, 2018.