Jen Berntsen

Mixed age classroom English lead teacher

I am so blessed to be doing what I love. I recently joined the Nuestra Escuelita teaching team as the mixed age English-speaking teacher in 2021 after moving to North Carolina from Connecticut in 2020. I have worked in elementary education in different capacities for many years, including preschool teacher, substitute teacher, special education paraprofessional, and assistant at a center for abused and neglected children. All of these experiences have given me unique and powerful perspectives that have strengthened me as a teacher and as an individual. For over 15 years I have volunteered in my local food pantry and I will always continue to serve my community. I am 50% Dutch and 50% Colombian, and I am so very proud to be a part of LEAP’s amazing mission to provide bilingual immersion at the preschool level. My Colombian background has been integral as I continue bolstering my Spanish language skills.

Besides teaching, I love being with my two children and my husband, our two dogs, gardening, the ocean, appreciating nature and working outside, playing piano, tennis, disc golf (and most other sports) and helping others. 

One of my favorite quotes is “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” As a teacher and as a parent, I believe this is one of the greatest and most valuable lessons we can teach children, and one that I will always strive to teach our students at LEAP.