Jana Davenport, new admin director of planned TK-8 program

Jana Davenport, the new administrative director of the planned TK-8 program, is arguably the best elementary school administrator in the San Fernando Valley and her first day at Granada Hills Charter is on Monday, September 24. Formerly the principal of Balboa Gifted Magnet, she is ready to hit the ground running on planning the new program. We were able to sit down with her and ask about her plans:

What do you like most about working with children?
I love everything about working with children! Daily conversations with kids keep me young at heart and give me hope for the future! The wide-eyed wonder of a child is a beautiful thing and there is nothing that compares with the feeling of satisfaction that comes from watching a child learn and grow.

What are the benefits of a TK-8 program?
One of the most important benefits of a TK-8 program is the opportunity for continuity in the instructional program. But not only will it provide a strong academic foundation through a unified approach to learning, it will foster a deep sense of community. We’ll take full advantage of the age span of TK-8th graders on one campus to promote scholarly behaviors as well as compassion, care, and empathy. Younger students will look up to positive role models and older students will have opportunities on many levels to lead and support the younger students academically, socially, and emotionally.

What are you most excited about in launching a new program?
Having the opportunity to assemble a team of talented, dedicated educators who will work together to provide innovative and creative ways to engage students in learning is beyond exciting. Putting the right people in front of and alongside of our students is a tremendous responsibility and my highest priority. We will be one of the few schools offering second language instruction starting in 2nd grade, computer science instruction, and a focus on inquiry-based learning! While the TK-8 program is new, it’s really a chance to extend the tradition of excellence that the high school is built upon…and that is very exciting.

Tell me why you decided to become a teacher and then a principal.
I was originally studying to become a biomedical engineer because I enjoyed math and science, but it wasn’t too long before I realized that I was interested in a lot of other things, too! I knew that becoming a teacher would allow me to add my love for literature, music and even sports into my daily life and share it with others. So I changed my major at UCLA and went on to get my teaching credential and Masters Degree in Education. I never intended to become a principal because I loved being in the classroom with my students. It wasn’t until I saw the role as an opportunity to support the amazing work of a whole group of teachers, just like I tried to do with my students, that I decided to become a principal. It’s a joy to support talented teachers and make it possible for them to do what they do best every day!
What are your goals for the new TK-8 program?
My goal for the TK-8 school is to build a strong community of skilled educators supported by involved families. Together, we will be focused on helping every child reach their full potential as globally minded citizens through an engaging, inquiry-based academic program. Our classrooms will be places where students are excited about learning and, when the time comes, ready to seamlessly transition into the rigorous programs that are offered by the high school. 
And finally, describe your vision for education for all students and parents.
Education must extend beyond textbooks and test scores. The classroom needs to connect students to the real world. A good education not only gives you knowledge and skills, it builds character and provides the inspiration students need to use that knowledge and skill to find their unique role in a global society.