Jennifer McCullough, Director of Education
Hello, and welcome to Morgridge Academy at National Jewish Health! Thank you for logging on to our website and exploring what we have to offer at this special little school.
My earliest childhood dreams seemed to point in the direction of becoming an aspiring newspaper reporter or lawyer, but while in college I was given an opportunity to work at a summer camp for children with special needs. Those children touched a deep corner of my heart and I knew that I could do no better than to enter the education world. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Kansas in 1994 and a Master’s Degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Behavior Disorders, also from the University of Kansas, in 1998. I moved to Colorado in 1998 and worked at Mrachek Middle School as the Affective Needs Teacher until I found Morgridge Academy in 1999.
While I was a teacher at Mrachek, I went to a professional development training where I was lucky to meet Kerry Haygood, who became a teacher here at Morgridge Academy not long after. She called me when a teaching job opened up here in 1999 and I applied immediately. I was given the third grade teaching position and could hardly contain my excitement! From 1999-2008, I taught everything from third grade to eighth grade and loved every minute of it. The relationships I formed with my students have followed me throughout my career, and I still have contact with many former students through the wonders of Facebook.
Although I loved my job as a teacher here, I had an amazing career opportunity so I left to become a Behavior Specialist with the Douglas County School District in 2008. While I was there, I earned a second Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Jones International University in 2012. Soon after, I left Douglas County to be the Dean of Students at Littleton Preparatory Charter School.
I suspect there was always a part of me that knew I would one day return to Morgridge Academy. In the spring of 2014, I received a few phone calls from Morgridge Academy staff. They wanted me to know that Mr. Reid was retiring and encouraged me to apply for his job. And with that, the rest is history! Mr. Reid said he always knew I would come back, and he was right.
After being out in public schools, I can tell you with absolute conviction that there is no place like Morgridge Academy. The freedom to expose medically fragile children to whole child instruction is unparalleled outside of this facility. Watching a struggling student begin to grow physically, emotionally, socially, and academically is uniquely rewarding for me and I get to do that every day at Morgridge Academy. I feel so blessed to be able to work with the students and staff here.
In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my nine-year-old son Noah. He is absolutely adorable and the light of my life. I also enjoy anything outside… running, hiking, camping, snowboarding, you name it!
Come over and see us sometime at Morgridge Academy! We love to give tours and show off all the wonderful things our students are learning. I promise you will never forget it.