Jen de Groat

Art Resource Teacher/Curriculum Specialist – Helen Diller Family Preschool

Youth & Family

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Jen is an arts educator and artist who relocated to San Francisco in 1999. Prior to moving to the west coast, she taught young children and teenagers at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Once in SF, her plan to continue in museum education took a turn and she started as the studio teacher at the then named California Street Preschool at the JCCSF in the fall of 1999. In her time with the JCCSF, in addition to role as the studio teacher, Jen started the studio at our sister school on Arguello Boulevard, The Rosenberg Center (now the Rosenberg Early Education Center), taught art in the Havurah Youth Center serving kindergarten through middle school aged children, and created and taught a variety of enrichment classes for preschool age children. Her personal work, and work with the children, emphasizes the process of making art rather than a focus on the product, exploration and experimentation with materials, and making time for the creative process to unfold.

Over the years, Jen’s role expanded beyond the walls of the studio as she deepened her work with teachers around the curriculum. In 2009, she accepted the position of Curriculum Specialist, formalizing this role. As the Curriculum Specialist, she supports teachers to identify, facilitate and document projects based on children’s interests and questions. In the studio, she actively collaborates with children and teachers on many of these projects resulting in long-term explorations. Jen is also part of the Helen Diller Family Preschool and Early Childhood Education department leadership, helping to design and facilitate professional development throughout the year.

Outside of the school, Jen spends as much time as possible in her Mission studio engaged in her own art practice. In recent years, she had been working primarily in metal creating jewelry and small-scale sculpture using mixed metals and glass enamel. Hiking, cooking, biking and travel, especially in the Sierra, are other passions Jen shares with her partner Mike, all perfectly complemented by living in the Bay Area.