Jennifer McGee

Jennifer McGee has spent the last eight of her 16 years of principalship leading Atwood Primary
School in rural Oakland, Maine. McGee is a passionate advocate for holistic education, leading
initiatives that respond to the socioeconomic context of the child while creating opportunities for
environmental and wellness education for all students. Recognizing a need to even the playing
field at Atwood, where around 60% of students live in poverty, McGee has greatly increased the
school’s capacity for quality early childhood intervention, introducing pre-K and Kindergarten
Jump Start programs. She also led the implementation of a daily “WIN” (“What I Need”)period
to guarantee individualized instruction to all students to shore up lagging skills. McGee has also
played an instrumental role in making Atwood a place where “screen time” is robustly countered
with “green time,” implementing a variety of widely-recognized programs, including an on-site
teaching garden that give students opportunities for applied, interdisciplinary learning about
nature and the environment. An eager learner and facilitator, her commitment to teaching healthy
living has had a wide impact on her teachers and the school culture. One teacher says of
McGee’s leadership style, “she recognizes the power of many thinkers, and she empowers us to
take an active role in running our school.” Principal McGee is Adjunct Professor of Education at
Thomas College. She holds an M.Ed. from University of Maine and a Bachelor of Education
from the University of Maine at Farmington.