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Jennifer Paolantonio

Jennifer Paolantonio

Member

Jen is a Special Education teacher at Ponaganset High School in Rhode Island. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in Special Education, and holds a Certificate in Autism. She has been teaching at Ponaganset High School for 15 years as the Life Skills Special Education teacher, teaching students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. She helped start the Special Olympics Unified Sports program at her School 12 years ago and from the very beginning it has been a highlight of her teaching career. She helps coach both the Unified Volleyball and Unified Basketball teams and organizes school activities that focus on spreading the important message of inclusion through the pillars of a Unified Champion School.

In 2017, Ponaganset was the first high school in Rhode Island to be recognized as a National Unified Champion School. Jennifer was selected by SORI to travel to Washington, D.C for Capitol Hill Day and in 2018 Jennifer was selected by Special Olympics North America to represent North America in Shanghai, China at the Special Olympics East Asia Summit with four students. She has served on multiple building and state advisory committees. Currently, she is a member of the district's Equity and Inclusion committee. Jennifer was recognized as Foster Glocester Regional Schools Teacher of the Year Recipient in 2012 and was selected as Foster Glocester School Departments District Educator—Leader by the Rhode Island Department of Education in 2019. In that same year, Jennifer was awarded the distinction of a Milken Educator and was recognized nationally. Jennifer also is a proud mother of two young boys and looks forward to collaborating with others around the world to share her passion for the power of Unified Champion Schools and help build a world of inclusion.

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