Four-time EduGator transforms Santa Fe College education with community initiatives

Jennifer Homard left the College of Education in 2019 with four degrees under her belt, and she isn’t slowing down anytime soon as she transforms her community through her job at Santa Fe College.

Homard (B.A.E ‘98; M.Ed. ‘99, Ed.S. ‘09, Ed.D. ‘19) originally arrived at UF to pursue a degree in physical therapy, she soon found herself called to another path – education. She then began the bachelor’s in Elementary Education ProTeach program and hasn’t looked back since.

Homard earned a master’s degree in Elementary Education, a specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership and in 2019 received her doctorate in Higher Education Administration.

Outside of the college, she has worked in local classrooms and as a curriculum specialist for the Alachua County School District. Today, she serves as the executive director of secondary programs for Santa Fe College.

Jennifer Homard greets Santa Fe College students

Jennifer Homard greeting Santa Fe College students

It was a no brainer, this is my community and I have the very best institution and college of education down the street, said Homard about attending the UF College of Education.

Since earning her most recent degree from UF, Homard has been busy creating new educational programs within her job at Santa Fe College. In 2020, Homard pitched the idea of the Academy of Science and Technology to SF President Paul Broadie II. She wanted a school that offered college curriculum and industry certifications that also required no entrance barriers or costs for students. After three years of planning, the school had its first cohort of 75 ninth grade students this past fall.

But that’s not all she’s been up to.

In July 2021, the college president teamed up with community partners and Homard to start the ACB Excel program to aid unemployed adults with children in the K-12 education system. They put adults in a free workforce program in the evenings with free childcare.

“[At the beginning,] we had no idea the true impact of this program,” Homard said. “Their children are watching them better themselves through education, it’s gonna automatically better the family and break that cycle of poverty.”

When Homard isn’t running these programs, she teaches a college class on teaching diverse populations for inspiring teachers.

“It’s so rewarding to do these things at Santa Fe, it feels like my legacy,” Homard said.

Homard attributes her postgraduate success to what she learned in Norman Hall, especially the internship opportunities from the college and its professors.

“I walk into Norman Hall and see people who have been there for decades now and it makes me feel at home,” Homard said.