Jennifer Blake was a public school teacher for fifteen years and then a school administrator for four years. Because her husband Creighton was in the military, Jennifer had the opportunity to serve in multiple states as their family moved with Creighton’s assignments. By her preference, most of her assignments as a teacher were in inner city schools, working with some of the most challenging youth. She saw it as an opportunity to be a light for Christ in a place that is often void of a gospel witness.
But when Jennifer was one of a handful of educators selected from the entire state of California to be an expert content reviewer for elementary Language Arts curriculum, it would be the beginning of the end. Under normal circumstances, this opportunity would have been a delight someone who cares deeply about setting objective educational evaluations for students. But when two pallets of curriculum were dropped off in Jennifer’s driveway, she held a checklist in her hand that was unconscionable. It turned out that Jennifer was not being asked to review curriculum primarily for educational qualities but to ensure it met an LBGTQ agenda. For instance, did the kindergarten curriculum have enough pictures of same-sex couples? Did the second-grade curriculum have enough example sentences with gay-friendly terminology? Jennifer looked at her three-year-old daughter and wondered what she would do when her daughter reached kindergarten.
A few years later, Jennifer was required as a principal to hold training for her staff about how to lead children through a transgender process. Upon hearing about this requirement, Jennifer went into her office, shut the door, and begged God for wisdom. She knew she couldn’t continue on this career path she so loved, and during that final year as a principal, the Lord confirmed that to her repeatedly.
A few months later, Jennifer and her husband Creighton discovered Lancaster Baptist Church. Jennifer had been saved as a child and joined a Baptist church as a young adult, but Lancaster Baptist was special. "I feel like I have grown spiritually here more than I have during my entire adult life," she commented six months after joining. "Pastor Chappell has challenged us as a family and me in my own walk with Christ." Creighton, Jennifer and their daughter Faith are flourishing and growing as they serve with their new church family.
Looking back over her last few difficult years in the public education system as well as the couple of years since she resigned, she realizes that God was growing her faith to prepare her for a new opportunity to impact educational outcomes—only this time, in a Christian setting.
This fall, Jennifer is teaching Educational Evaluation at West Coast Baptist College—a senior-level class for education majors. The class deals with systematic evaluation in the classroom through knowledge, understanding, and application of instructional objectives, activities, and testing. She is thrilled for this opportunity to do what she loves—equip future teachers to effectively equip students.
Jennifer has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences as well as a teaching credential from Chapman University, a Master’s in Education through Indiana Wesleyan University, and a specialist degree in Educational Leadership (Ed.S.) from Liberty University. She is in her final stages of her Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership (Ed.D) through Liberty University.
We are excited to welcome Jennifer to West Coast Baptist College and are thankful for the combination of skill, experience, and passion she brings to influence Christian teachers who are training to change the world with the gospel.