Jen Dodd

Jen Dodd with Book


The greatest gift we can give any child is the gift of reading. As one of Discovery’s reading specialists, I hope to promote and instill a love of literacy within all of our students by building and supporting teacher partnerships, developing and strengthening a common vision, and encouraging and supporting professional learning. I am a lifelong learner that believes teaching is both a science and an art. I feel very fortunate to be able to collaborate and celebrate with the stellar team at Discovery Elementary.

Professional Background

I am originally from Altoona, Pennsylvania, and attended Pace University in Westchester County, New York. I was fortunate enough to have earned a basketball scholarship, juggling athletics and academics as I obtained my Bachelor of Arts degree in Childhood Education and Academic All-American honors. As the Graduate Assistant, I continued my education completing my Master of Education degree in Literacy. Upon finishing my coursework, I was hired as a 4th grade teacher in New York City. Although I greatly valued my experience in The Big Apple, I sought another adventure and moved to Arlington, Virginia where I joined the Williamsburg Middle School family as a 6th grade Reading teacher. Prior to to my role at Discovery, I was  Williamsburg’s Reading Specialist and English Language Arts Lead Teacher. I was named WMS Teacher of the Year in 2013.

Personal Interests

My husband and I have two energetic boys, Grady and Bryson, and one food-loving Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kenzie. We love playing sports, spending time with family, and visiting the Outer Banks. Every night we can be found curled up with a good book, sharing our love for reading.

Literary Connection

For my Literary Connection, I chose Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This amazing story captures the strength and spirit of August Pullman, a 5th grade student with a rare facial deformity. After being homeschooled for his entire education, he enrolls in Beecher Prep and is confronted with a plethora of new challenges. Throughout the book, his character is tested time and time again. By the end, August decisively “carries up the most hearts” by his unconditional strength to be himself. Auggie teaches his readers what it is like to be different and how one can achieve greatness through courage, kindness, friendship, and character. This story is an inspiration for all, teaching us to be empathetic, compassionate, and accepting of others; what an incredible message for us all to embrace!