Mrs. Hayden

  • My love for teaching has been in my heart for as long as I can remember.  My parents had worked, owned and now run a non-profit summer camp called Imagine That Camp, located in Paradise Valley for the past 41 years.  From the onset age of six, I assisted in the classroom, creating concoctions of delicious treats to gooey art projects. As I grew, I can still picture myself, a third grader, in my walk-in closet, chalk board leaning against my clothes, stuffed animals lined up, teaching from old text books.  After graduating from Chaparral, in Scottsdale, I ventured across the wash to Arizona State University, where  I pursued my Early Childhood Teaching degree and embarked on “Teaching Tomorrows Leaders Today.” Upon graduation, I taught at Cherokee Elementary School, in the same third grade classroom I had attended many years ago. 

    After marrying, I traveled the world.  As a military wife, I realized that whether I was teaching in a small town in Texas, or in a large homeschool co-op in the desert, I have an impact on each child’s life. After five years of teaching, I decided to teach from home, tutoring on the side, assisting in classrooms, creating elaborate parties for both our squadron as well as my children’s classrooms.

    Five years ago we finally moved "home."  I decided to dabble and get my toes wet and had an amazing opportunity to assist as a Kindergarten Assistant at NorTerra Canyon to 178 cutie pies.  I then was offered an incredible opportunity to fulfill a dream to teach with my mom, a seasoned teacher, at Paradise Valley United Methodist Preschool. The knowledge I received in such a short amount of time, was powerful and will help me develop a creative, engaging community in our classroom. It is  full of hands on opportunities, cooperative experiments and learning through play. 

    So here starts my journey at Highland Lakes. I love our staff, our support, our parents and most importantly our students. I am sure you have heard “Enjoy them, time flies quickly, before you know it they will be gone.”  I can hardly comprehend that I now have a Junior at Sandra Day O'Connor High School (Maddie) and a Freshman at the University of Alabama (Emily).   I can remember the day I dropped Maddie off at kindergarten.  I had a date planned with a friend at the beach in Destin. I distinctly remember saying, “What are we going to do with all this free time?”  I laugh now, knowing that we were busier than ever once the littles were in school.  As the days go quicker and the months fly by, I am reminded that we are given these special gifts for just a short time.  Train them well and they will make amazing leaders and those others will want to follow.  

    I have two fur children.  Luke (AFB) is a 130 pound White Lab and his best friend Lexi (Lexington Park) is a Golden.  Your child might come home talking about them someday.  They wish they could come to school and read with your child, one of their favorite parts of homeschooling in California. 

     I am so looking forward to this year and getting to know each and every one of my families.  I believe in open communication and really getting to know the whole child, family included, to successfully teach the child.  I know you are your child’s first educator, I hope to build on your foundation and together we can successfully create a love for learning in an environment where your child feels safe.  If you have any questions throughout your stay in kinder, please don’t hesitate to ask.

     I welcome volunteers (however you must first go through the volunteer training at our school or at the district).  If you don’t have  the opportunity to volunteer weekly or monthly in our classroom, you can still feel connected and part of the process through volunteering for parties, field trips or even help as a worker bee from home.  Every parent can participate.  The fastest way to reach me during the day if it is an emergency is through our app that you will receive a code for at the beginning of the year.  Otherwise I do check my email several times during breaks in my day.  You can reach me at 

    I look forward to an incredible year!  Please watch for special events found on our calendar in the newsletter, or blasts I send via email or  This might have last minute information I was unable to get out to you in the folder. 

    Hugs and here’s to a great year.

    Jennifer Hayden