Jenny Kuykendall posing for a photo

Jenny Kuykendall is in her 16th year with St. Anthony - New Brighton Schools. She started the same year, 2007, that Lori Watzl-King, District Wellness Coordinator, began, and they are both St. Anthony residents. Jenny has had two children go through SANB, and has another one in 6th grade right now. Some of you may already be familiar with the Kuykendalls – Tom Kuykendall runs Sports Boosters, an organization that helps students play sports in the SANB area. 

Jenny oversees the district-wide Special Education program including local Catholic school St. Charles Borromeo. Recently, Jenny has been partnering with new Special Education staff who together decode state laws and determine how they will function in our district. 

Without a coordinator role, SANB would only have instructional staff and the Special Education Director. As our district has changed and adapted, the Special Education Director has taken on additional responsibilities. Currently, Hope Fagerland is the Director of Academics, which oversees both Special Education and Student Services.

Before coming into the coordinator role, Jenny taught special education for 13 years. Now, she helps special education teachers day to day by creating systems and structures for Special Education students.

“I work to meet the needs of all students, and answer some of our most pressing questions like ‘How does our work align with effective instruction?’ and ‘What is the work we need to do to reduce opportunity gaps?’” 

Jenny enjoys working across the whole district – ”Students and staff fill my cup. I feel like I get to do things that support staff, and I like to think I’m making their job easier,” Jenny said. 

No two days are the same for Jenny. Since coordinator roles are fairly new to the district, some think that Jenny is the director. Without Jenny though, a lot of the work would be put back on the Special Education team and the Director, Hope. 

“I feel like a lot of systemic things would get dropped and we would be getting by day to day, putting out fires, instead of being proactive.”

We are so grateful for the work Jenny Kuykendall does for our district around special education. Creating systems and structures that work to make it easier for our staff to support students is invaluable and leads us in our work to become Ever Brighter. 

  • Ever Brighter