Best of State 2014

01 July 2014

Jennifer Duffield received "Best of State" Administrator for 2014.

Jenn is more than an administrator at Dancing Moose. You will often see her in the classroom teaching and assisting, in the halls talking with teachers and parents, but most of all connecting with the children as they enter the school. She knows the children on a personal level, she knows her teachers and her parents, and that is how a community is built! We love you Jenn.

As the Executive Director at Dancing Moose Montessori School (DMMS), Jennifer Duffield has a Montessori teaching credential in toddler as well as early childhood education.  These certifications provide a foundation for Jennifer’s overseeing day-to-day operations.  Her academic background in chemistry (Bachelor of Science) and business (Master of Business Administration) supports her role as director of faculty and staff.  She has conducted research and collaborated with numerous individuals in early childhood education to develop best practices for DMMS.

Jennifer also directs personnel hiring and evaluating teacher performance to ensure quality and identify areas for further training.  She organizes and administers in-service training to follow through with quarterly reports on performance goals and objectives.  Her highest priority is to maintain positive relations with parents and community members.  

Jennifer been the primary liaison to involve Dancing Moose in community outreach programs, such as Deseret Industries contributions, fund raising for the Utah Food Bank, Utah Animal Shelter, Utah Coalition for Healthy Weight (which is part of the Dancing Moose effort to help children develop habits for a healthy lifestyle), and tuition scholarships for low income families.

During her Westminster College MBA program, Jennifer wrote the Dancing Moose business plan.  She continues to attend Quarterly conferences to ensure that Dancing Moose is not only an ideal choice for children and families, but is a supportive and innovative workplace for teachers.

As a measure to maintain teacher quality and satisfaction, Jennifer conducts annual review meetings with teachers and has an open door policy to listen and make workplace adjustments as needed.  She conducts weekly coordination teacher meetings to improve communication and teacher trainings on Saturdays to further the education of her teachers.

Jennifer remains an active member of the MBA Alumni Board at Westminster College.  In the fall of 2010, she participated in a semester long course that allowed MBA students to analyze the Dancing Moose business model.  She made multiple presentations to the class and invited them to visit the school.  Students ended their class by writing consultant reports for Dancing Moose.

In April 2010, Jennifer was invited to be a keynote speaker for Westminster's Entrepreneurial Lecture Series for over 100 individuals to offer advice about the Dancing Moose business model.  In June 2012, she participated in a video interview for an online entrepreneurial college course.  In September 2013, she was invited to be on a "star alumni" as part of Westminster's Business School's 25th anniversary celebration.

What Our Parents Say

  • Jamie & Ken B:  Too many great things to narrow it down to just a few lines! But we'll try!  We love that all the teachers and administrators are always smiling and positive - it sets the stage for a great learning environment for our child and let's us know that they truly care about all the children.

  • Keith W:  Moving here from the east coast, we were concerned about finding the proper level of education for our daughter. Dancing Moose was just opening and when we did our tour, Dr. Joyce impressed me with her professionalism,enthusiasm, and academic prowess. We started our daughter in the toddler class and never looked back. Now, four years later we have both our children in Dancing Moose and could not be more pleased. Not only is the education second to none, and I would apply that not to only utah, but the entire country, the family atmosphere is phenomenal. I would recommend Dancing Moose to all toddler to 2nd grade children.  I can not understand why anybody would go anywhere else.

  • Alexis J:  Aislynn loves going to school at Dancing Moose, she's excited every day to tell me or any other adult near her what she did in school that day.  I love the flexibility the teachers are allowed, how every student gets to work at their own pace and none of them seem overwhelmed or bored.

  • Cherie M:  I commute everyday to the Dancing Moose, usually about 20 minutes each way from my Holladay home. Though commuting is not my favorite activity, I have found it is worth every second of my time. My son, Liam Emsley, is so happy when I pick him up and drop him off, sometimes I have to convince him it is time to leave school and go home! The state of the art facility is top notch, the teachers are warm and friendly, the school lunch/snack program is the best I found when I was researching school options. Needless to say, I am a big fan of the Dancing Moose!

  • Michelle M:  Our family loves the Dancing Moose Montessori for so many reasons.  The most important reason, is that our son absolutely loves his teachers and the other staff. We love the diversity and acceptance of students and staff and we also love that the Moose is community oriented and working on a "green" future. 

  • Shannon C:  Transplants to UT from OR.  This is our second year at DMM.  We feel safe, comfortable, love coming to school everyday to learn from a FANTASTIC curriculum,  really enjoy the flavors from Chef Renee, organic gardening and most of all the consistent unconditional love from each teacher with our little ones!  Thank you Dancing Moose for providing my children a great early childhood educational experience!

  • Christian M:  Dancing Moose distinguishes itself in the quality of academic education the school provides to young children, and also in the environment it creates for learning to occur.  Perhaps most-importantly, our son loves it!

  • Chris P:  Some of the things I like best about Dancing Moose have nothing to do with what goes on in the classroom.  I like that the place is wind powered, has a community garden and has a chef making food from scratch every day.  These are manifestations of values which I hold dear.  I am happy that Dancing Moose shares these values.

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