First Name


Last Name




Name Pronunciation

jen i fer ha li ski




Retired from the Bethel School District

City and State

Eugene, Oregon


I have spent 40+ years in PK-8 education in Oregon as a teacher and principal. I began my teaching career in PreK and spent 22 years in the classroom, as a kindergarten teacher and Title I Reading Specialist. I still have a special place in my heart for early childhood. As principal, I served Blossom Gulch Elementary in Coos Bay and Prairie Mountain K-8 in the Bethel School District. I currently serve as an adjunct professor with the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators Principal Licensure Program and as a leadership coach with the Oregon Rural Schools Network. I am a systems thinker, one who is deeply committed to equity and equitable outcomes for all students.  My strengths are in coaching leaders, professional learning that is aligned and differentiated, and foundational reading.  My undergraduate degree is from Colorado College and I earned a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon in 2003. In 2014, I studied at the Principal’s Center at Harvard, fulfilling a lifelong dream to study at Harvard University.

Locations of Experience

The Dalles, Oregon

Cascade Locks, Oregon

Springfield, Oregon

Coos Bay, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon


I'm here because

When I think about my why, I think about the people who believed in me throughout my career. I think they saw the potential in me before I saw my potential. My first leadership ‘opportunity’ was leading the parking lot team at Guy Lee Elementary – yes the parking lot team! You may have already experienced this – but there are a lot of strong feelings about traffic flow. I learned all sorts of things on this team and most importantly, how to bring people together.
My why is all about kids. Whenever I’m struggling in my work, I ask myself to get on the balcony – what does each and every student need? That drives my why. I’m here because I believe in the power of public education in Oregon, I believe that each and every child deserves what they need to be successful. I believe in the power of leaders. And I believe I have can help leaders see their potential (like leaders once helped me) as they transform their schools.

I got here through

My top Life Ready skill or characteristic is the ability to see multiple perspectives, to fit them together, to see patterns, and make connections across topics, groups, and issues. This sometimes gets me in trouble as my mind moves very quickly as it compartmentalizes and organizes information. I have to be intentional about staying present.

My hope for this community

My hopes are that leaders will cultivate a spirit of curiosity and openness to their own potential, that they will always hold onto hope, and that our cohort will create a brave space that allows both honesty and vulnerability.

I can support you with

One of my strengths is ‘in the moment’ coaching. I pose questions and wonderings that push others to consider differing perspectives or perhaps things they haven’t thought of. I have other strengths in designing math professional development, early literacy, and systems thinking.

Favorite role in education

I think my most favorite position was when I served as Student Services Coordinator at Riverbend Elementary from 1999-2003. I got to do a little of everything. Supervise educational assistants, do student discipline, head the Student Study Team, teach technology, teach small group reading, supervise on the playground. It really was an opportunity to be a leader and grow as a leader. I also worked as part of an amazing team.

Contact Information