Jennifer Lockwood realized that education was the field she felt most passionate about while working towards her undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts, where she taught Dramatic Arts workshops to high school students at Humboldt State University. After receiving her Single Subject Teaching Credential in Language Arts, Ms. Lockwood taught Language Arts and Social Studies at Sylmar High School in the San Fernando Valley. In the summer, she traveled to Ghana where she taught English to girls at a UNICEF school through the program Global Volunteers. It was while working at Sylmar High School where a close friend encouraged her to bring her talents to a brand new charter middle school, CHIME (Community Honoring the Inclusive Model of Education). At CHIME she was able to refine her teaching skills and become a teacher of students of all abilities. Ms. Lockwood became a master teacher at CHIME and trained numerous student teachers in the area of Language Arts.
Through assisting in the development of policies and procedures at the brand new CHIME Charter Middle School (2003), Ms. Lockwood developed an interest in school administration. She began her studies at California State University, Northridge in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies where she obtained her Masters in Educational Administration. She holds a Clear Administrative Services credential, able to serve in grades twelve and below. She has been the principal of both CHIME Charter Middle School and CHIME Institute’s Schwarzenegger Community School, a K-8 campus. Wanting to move back up to Northern California to be closer to her family, she was so excited to hear of the position as Director of Willits Charter School at the California Charter School Association Conference.
As the Director of Willits Charter School for the last five years, through intensive collaboration with her amazing WCS faculty she has achieved WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) Accreditation for the school, as well as the renewal of the Willits Charter School through the Willits Unified School District for another five years. She has raised the bar for our high school students, moving towards goal of all WCS high school students being prepared for college. A new focus for the school has been developed and a new sign for the school was created "Willits Charter School: A Public School for the Arts and Sciences." Many upgrades to the campus have been made under Ms. Lockwood's leadership, including new turf, new computers and infrastructure, and painting of all of the buildings. Under her leadership and in partnership with the stellar faculty and staff Willits Charter School was named a California Honor Roll School, with our high school program ranking in the top 10% of all public California high schools.
Future goals include expanding the outstanding Arts programs at the school and helping students continue reach their college and career goals. Ms. Lockwood would like to continue to grow the Computer Science program that we began in the 2018-2019 school year. With regard to the physical plant, she would like to work towards the addition of a theater building where the students would have a place to perform their many plays, musicals, and choir performances. In addition, she would like to expand our Culinary program to include a professional certification.