About “Clay in Class” Contributor: Jennifer Koons
Riverside, California native Jennifer Koons was formally trained as an environmentalist and teacher at the University of Redlands and California State University San Bernardino. Along with education, her unique experiences have developed a self-motivated teacher, healer and artist. A strong work ethic was instilled in Jennifer through her parents, Joe and Julie Koons. They met while studying art at a Zen temple in Kyoto, Japan. Their business, Designer’s Tile Studio, was her “first job” and propelled her exploration into the arts. From antique hunting trips up and down California’s coast to ceramic art-based tours around the world to places like Turkey, Thailand and China, Jennifer’s love for travel has created a global perspective in art and teaching.
Jennifer currently works as a Project GLAD Trainer and Consultant, where she has had the opportunity to train teachers locally, nationally and internationally in places like Rialto and San Juan Capistrano, California, Washington and most recently in Hong Kong. Working with English Learners in the area of Language Acquisition is a passion that has arisen from Jennifer’s time studying languages like Spanish, German and Chinese. Jennifer has attended and/or presented at different conferences hosted by the California Association of Bilingual Educators and the California Art Education Association.
For the City of Mission Viejo, Jennifer has organized a group of women artists to foster arts education and creativity with community members. Large murals posted along the Oso Creek Trail in Mission Viejo currently depict a Native American Village scene and the Pacific Symphony. They were created by community members at city events like Earth Day/Artes de la Vida and the summer concert series Prelude in the Park. Future Mural projects are in the works!
Hosting a blog on Laguna Clay Company’s website, Clay in Class, is a new endeavor for Jennifer, so please contribute lesson plans, photos, stories, questions and comments.