Jenna Watts is the vice president of policy for Deans for Impact. Prior to joining Deans for Impact, she served as the committee director for the House Committee on Public Education in the Texas Legislature. She also served as the governmental affairs liaison for the state education agency. Jenna received her bachelor’s degree in government and history from the University of Texas at Austin.

No program or reform will improve student outcomes without a skilled teacher leading the classroom.

Why do the Deans for Impact guiding principles ring true for you?

The use of data to improve outcomes for teacher candidates and the students they ultimately instruct can transform the professional training of teachers and the educational experience for K-12 students. The willingness to be transparent and accountable, particularly through the use of data, exhibits a commitment to serve students and the larger education community.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Mrs. Reed was my second grade teacher at Eanes Elementary. At the beginning of the school year, she visited every student at their home. Even decades later, I still remember the excitement of my teacher coming to my house to meet my family. Her commitment to her students was evident to every second grader in her classroom, creating an exciting and nurturing learning environment that we all loved.

What’s your favorite food truck and why?

The Fab Five serves a variety of food (although not for those with dietary restrictions – definitely nothing vegan or gluten-free) but I primarily return for the people not the food. I have had the most fascinating conversations with the most amusing people who are always there.

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