Sonoma County Office of Education

Employee Spotlight: Jennifer Lux

01/30/2024 - Jennifer Lux

Jennifer Lux

Years at SCOE:
This is my fifth year working at SCOE. I started during the 2019-20 school year (remember the floods, the Kincade fire, and the COVID lockdown?)

Job Title:
Principal, Special Education

How do you describe your job to people outside SCOE?

I tell people outside and within SCOE that I am the proud and privileged principal of 10 Special Day classrooms throughout Sonoma County. These include specializations in the areas of autism and specialized healthcare services for K-12 grade students with extensive support needs. I have the honor to serve students with a wide range of abilities whose access to education would be limited if I didn’t work for the most talented, competent, and compassionate humans (staff, districts, and families) on the planet. I truly feel that my position is the most generous gift that keeps on giving. I never feel underwhelmed, bored, or unmotivated. I awake every morning like a rubber band snapping to my feet as each day I am able to serve my students, staff, and community contributes to me having the best day ever … every day! I am so grateful for all the growth opportunities I am provided with here at SCOE.

Where did you grow up?
The suburbs of Chicago. I also feel that I grew up half my life in Arizona due to attending undergrad and graduate school and living there for almost two decades.

Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why?
This is a tough one. I had so many amazing teachers during my childhood that it is difficult to pick just one. I would have to say one of my favorite teachers was Dr. Lund, the school psychologist. When I was growing up my parents divorced resulting in my sister and I being shuffled back and forth between two households every two weeks. Divorce was a bit of an anomaly in my neighborhood and school. I had high absenteeism due to illness. Dr. Lund went that extra mile to investigate why I was absent so often, listen to my story, and advocate for my needs when I was unable to. Dr Lund helped me find my voice so I could access my education and succeed in school and in life. Dr. Lund also helped me to find coping strategies for the stress I was experiencing which was manifesting in physical symptoms.

What is your favorite thing about SCOE?
My top favorite thing about SCOE is that the environment is super uber healthy. I love everyone’s flexibility regardless of the situation at hand. Flexible people are happy, compassionate, caring, and positive people. Flexible people are team players and have a can-do attitude. Flexible people are mindful and have a growth mindset which is a perfect recipe for a healthy workplace.

What is one of your most memorable moments as a SCOE employee?
Wow, just one? Ok, I would have to say that on my very first day at SCOE John Laughlin greeted me and told me that SCOE was a magical place. I wrote this on a sticky note and truly believe that SCOE is a magical place. People greet each other when they see each other. They see each other and believe in the work that they do. Now that is truly magic.

Outside of work, what is your favorite hobby or way to unwind?
I love being outdoors, connecting with nature, and unplugging from devices. I especially enjoy whitewater kayaking because it is a lot like what happens in life. You cannot control the way the river flows or its force, but you can control how you respond to the current. In life you can control how you respond to challenges, setbacks, and failures — all opportunities for growth and learning. Plus, whitewater kayaking enables you to see sooo much more nature and wildlife that is not visible via land. I have also met the most diverse and wonderful humans on the water and they are all there to help you learn and grow … well, and save you if needed.

Do you have a favorite TV show, movie or book that involves a school setting?
Probably not appropriate if minors are reading, but “Sixteen Candles.” My boyfriend’s older sisters were extras in this movie so that added to the fave factor. I think that is why our parents let us watch an R-rated movie.

What is your favorite place in Sonoma County?
Any place where there are redwoods and water. I absolutely love the Russian River, the Gualala River, and Austin Creek. Redwoods are visible from all three watersheds, and they all lead to the ocean. How cool is that?

What might people be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m not sure because I feel like I’m a pretty open and authentic person. I think people wouldn’t guess that I can be very introverted, and that I do not particularly enjoy large crowds and new situations. I really can clam up when I feel awkward and can have very few words to say.