While the University of Florida College of Education has had the esteemed privilege of graduating first, second and third-time EduGators, it is on rare occasion we have the opportunity to recognize a four-time EduGator.

Jennifer Homard (B.A.E ‘98; M.Ed. ‘99, Ed.S. ‘09, Ed.D. ‘19) began her EduGator journey more than 20 years ago. Though she originally arrived at UF to pursue a degree in physical therapy, she soon found herself called to another path – education. She began the Elementary Education ProTeach program and has never looked back.

“To me it was magical, it was absolutely magical,” she said.

Since then, Homard has devoted her career to maximizing students’ potential and opportunity for lifelong success. Not only has she served in the classroom, both at the K-12 and higher education levels, but she has also worked as a curriculum specialist for the Alachua County school district, an assistant principal and a principal. Today, she serves as the director of high school dual enrollment at Santa Fe College.

Jennifer Homard

“Recognizing that I was put in this spot, on this planet, in Gainesville, Florida, for a reason and that’s what it is – to help the students,” she said.

Throughout these experiences, Homard returned to the College of Education to advance her professional career and prepare for the next step in her journey. While some recommend attending multiple universities to diversify your academic experiences, remaining an EduGator felt like a no-brainer.

I have got the best College of Education in my backyard, she said. Why would I not go there?

In addition to her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Elementary Education, Homard earned a specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership and as of Dec. 13, received her doctorate in Higher Education Administration.

With a clear understanding and passion for Pre-K through 20, Homard intends to continue her work to expand access and cultivate opportunities for all students.

“Every day I’m going to make sure that whatever I’m doing is going to help whoever’s sitting here with me or whoever’s part of my world at that moment,” she said.

Expanding her reach beyond Alachua County, Homard also hopes to make an impact on state policy. Harnessing the findings of her recent dissertation examining if there was a correlation between a student’s high school GPA and their potential for success in dual enrollment, she intends to present a policy brief to the state with hopes of informing their upcoming dual enrollment statute decisions.

Concluding her 20-plus-year educational journey with the College of Education, Homard shared she feels the College not only transformed her life, but the lives of those she has had the opportunity to teach, mentor and support throughout her career.

“If teaching is your passion, if you’re meant to be an educator, UF’s College of Education is the only place you should entrust your education,” she said.