Getting to Know Jennifer Haddow

December 14, 2016

GETTING TO KNOW JENNIFER HADDOW

Meet Jennifer Haddow (sounds like “shadow”), the new Chief Program Officer for The Childhood League Center. Meet the woman who once worked as a scoreboard operator at a local ice rink and whose greatest weaknesses are kettle chips and her grandma’s chocolate chip cookies.

We sat down for an inside look!

 

Q: What is your day-to-day role?

A: This is a more difficult question than you may think! My day can look like anything – from serving lunch to our preschool students to meeting with the superintendent of Columbus City Schools.

It varies greatly but I enjoy that. I ensure our programs continue to meet our exceptionally high standards and plan how that will look in the future, but what I enjoy the most is visiting the classrooms as often as possible and getting to know our families.

Q: What skills do you need for that role?

A: The top two skills are to be a visionary as we grow and expand our programs under the umbrella of The Childhood League Center. Secondly, I must be a problem solver and be able to help others find a way to solve problems. These are critical, I feel, to do this job well.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your day?

A: The kids! I am beginning to know the children, their families and their stories, which is an incredible part of my job. I also enjoy watching our staff talk about the children – their faces light up. Their passion is visible, and I am inspired by that.

Q: What has been the biggest surprise?

A: How things here happen. I am impressed by our staff – they just take care of needs and everyone pitches in to make sure things get done.

Q: If you hadn’t followed this career path, what would you be doing?

A: It likely would have gone one of two ways – either as an author or a neonatologist. I still have dreams of writing a children’s book and have contributed to a book about dealing with a bully. Yet if I were going to completely restart my career, I would pursue neonatology. I am fascinated with their care for children.

Q: What brought you to The Center?

A: I love the way kids view the world – with awe. I like watching them learn and discover. I also am a parent of a child with special needs. My third child was born with significant medical challenges related to Sotos syndrome. I remember my first thought being, “How will I meet the needs of this child and my other children?” It’s hard to know what the future holds at that moment. Some days are struggles, some are normal and some are amazing and surprising!

My son has taught me to never accept the word “no”, and he continues to surprise my husband and I with his growth. Where he is now versus where we were told he would be is shockingly different. That’s what led me here – the belief in the strengths, capabilities and potential of every child – a philosophy with which I strongly identify.

Q: What would you most like to tell our families?

A: Let your child’s strengths develop and take flight. They may not be what you had planned or would have ever guessed, but believe in them.

If you have not had a chance to meet Jennifer yet, please stop by her office and introduce yourself as you have time.
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