The Journey of Luronda T. Jennings, M.Ed – Founder, Executive Director, & Licensed Special Educator

 My journey of educating students with disabilities began at Dalewood Middle School, as a Paraprofessional in the Comprehensive Development Classroom, assisting students with moderate to severe disabilities. I was working on my Bachelor’s Degree at U.T.C. in Child and Family Studies; so obtaining a position in the school system was perfect experience and worked very well with my schedule. Within two years, my love and passion for educating this population of students really blossomed. It was so rewarding to reinforce their goals and expose them to a higher level of hope everyday. They were always so eager to learn and when they accomplished a task, the smile on their face gave me even more purpose. I was so inspired that once completing my Bachelor’s Degree; I pursued and completed a Master’s Degree and licensure in Special Education K-12.

I started out teaching 3rd grade at Inner City Christian Academy before returning back to Hamilton County Schools to began my career as a Special Educator. I spent three total years at East Lake Academy, three years as the Head Volleyball Coach including two years as a Comprehensive Development Classroom teacher, and one year as an Inclusion teacher and Special Education Department Chair. I then had the desire to gain experience in the high school setting as a Special Educator.   I spent two years at Brainerd High School and a little over one year at Howard High School before I was moved to East Ridge Middle due to the need of an additional Special Educator.  After these five months of experience, I moved to Minnesota to accept a Behavior Specialist position in an elementary school. I loved everything about this position but I realized that educating youth in Chattanooga was my calling. I moved back to Chattanooga and accepted a position at Orchard Knob Middle School. My first year there I was the 7th grade Inclusion teacher and the Head Softball and Volleyball Coach. My second and final year there I was the 8th grade Inclusion teacher and Special Education Department Chair. It was within this school year that I got the vision to start Journey Educational Services, Inc., a non-profit organization, serving school-aged students of all abilities who experience academic, behavioral, and life challenges.

I gained quite a bit of experience in the non-profit sector, working at the Bethlehem Center’s Summer Literacy Academy for over 12 years. Advancing from Group Leader, to Reading Teacher, to Co-Director, to Director of the Summer Academy, I grew to love the structure and flexibility to provide innovative academic enrichment in a non-profit setting. I have over 10 years of experience educating elementary, middle, and high school students with mild to severe disabilities and over 12 years working for a non-profit organization. I plan to use my passion and experience to provide the best possible academic and life skills enrichment services that teaches the importance of embracing uniqueness while building confidence, efficiency, and productivity.