Ms. Daftari has been a resident of Grand Lake for 40 years. She graduated from Jay High School in 1989 and from The University of Oklahoma in 1993 with a B.A. in Journalism. She then attended The University of Oklahoma School of Law. At the same time her mother asked her to teach a class of children at church. She found she was pouring all her time and energy into the children. Thus she switched from law to education and went to Northeastern State University to receive a degree in education. After graduating, she taught 7th and 8th grade algebra and science one year at Southwest City School in Missouri. She then transferred to Jay Public Schools and has been teaching 5th grade for 18 years.
Ms. Daftari is extremely proud of her son, Hayden, who attends Jay Public High School. Hayden is active in archery and golf. He is a wonderful student and is proud to be a Jay Bulldog!
Ms. Daftari also teaches educators for Great Expectations. In addition she teaches Jay junior high students, high school students, and high school teachers The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and The 6 Most Important Decisions You Will Ever Make in an after school program.
She helped write Oklahoma’s state mandated PASS tests for several years, including helping to write Oklahoma’s first modified science exam for those students with special needs.
She was named “2009 District Teacher of the Year” and was chosen as a finalist for 2010 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. Mayor Wayne Dunham named April 3, 2009 as “Jennifer Daftari Day” for the impact she has had on the youth of Delaware County. She was Jay Walmart Teacher of the Year in 2007. She was voted as an “Outstanding Educator” by the 2008 Graduating Class of Jay High School. Ms. Daftari’s class has been featured in Popular Science, Oklahoma Education Association magazine, Channel 6 News, and the National Science Teacher magazine, Science Scope. Ms. Daftari was interviewed for the book High Achieving, Low Economic Schools. She was chosen to attend the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy as well as Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy. She was chosen to be Oklahoma’s NBA Thunder Teacher of the Game. Jennifer was chosen to be on the "Wall of Fame" for Jay's Centennial Celebration for her dedication to the children of Delaware County. She was chosen to attend Conoco's Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Summer Institute as well as The University of Oklahoma's Explorology Institute.
Jennifer is on the board for Delaware County Child Special Advocacy Network, science vertical team, and Bridges of Hope of Delaware County. She also performs drama and mime with students.
Every year she makes it a goal to do something new for her students. In recent years she got 3D-VIEW for her classroom. This is a program funded through NASA and U.S. Satellite Laboratory where the students wear 3-D glasses to view things on the SMART board. Ms. Daftari’s classroom was chosen to participate in a study with 3D-VIEW in which both NASA and U.S. Satellite Laboratory visited her classroom. Room 8's students also helped to contribute to beginning "National School Inventor's Challenge" with Editor-in-Chief, Mark Jannot, Popular Science.
In the spring of 2011 Daftari and her class applied for and obtained a state grant and presented their idea of building a tree house in the school's outdoor classroom to legislators. Members of the class designed the tree house and served as construction managers. The tree house was completed in May. It has an upper deck to observe birds with binoculars the class obtained from winning the National School Inventor's Challenge. The tree house is open to the public to enjoy with their families as well.
In the summer of 2011 Daftari and sponsors Melinda Teague, Cindi Collins, and Melani Graham took a group of students to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. They met with Ed Buckbee, founder of Space Camp and creator and author of The REAL Space Cowboys . At Space Camp the Jay students took home top honors winning Lunar Challenge and Highest Overall Accuracy of Completion of Missions. Jay Public Schools has continued to take students to Space Camp since 2011. In addition, Collins, Daftari, and Teague have taken groups to Sea Camp in Galveston, Texas since 2013.
In August 2011 Ms. Daftari was a part of NOAA Ship Oregon II's shark longline survey in the Gulf of Mexico with NOAA's Teacher at Sea program. Check out her blog to learn more about her adventure: http://teacheratsea.wordpress.com/category/noaa-teacher-at-sea-2/jennifer-daftari/. Jennifer has represented the NOAA Teacher at Sea program at numerous NSTA Conventions. Under the direction of NOAA scientists, Dr. William Driggers and Kristin Hannan, she and her class designed a coloring book which is used in classrooms around the United States.
In the summer of 2012 Ms. Daftari participated in the Project Dragonfly program with Miami University. She studied manatees, howler monkeys, and the barrier reef in Belize. She was also selected to attend Honeywell Educators @ Advanced Academy. Jennifer has served as a Honeywell Ambassador from 2014-2016.
Jennifer has served as NASA Endeavor Project Grant director as well as Cherokee Nation-Healthy Nation Grant Director in 2013. She was also selected to attend Honeywell Green Boot Camp in 2013.
From 2013-2016, Jennifer and her Mom, Linda, have served as Victim Impact Panel (VIP) Coordinators for the court system. VIP is designed to make citizens aware of the dangers that come while driving under the influence.
In 2015 Jennifer was selected to attend Project Archaeology Leadership Academy. Her students participated in recovering remains from a dig site in Oklahoma in the fall of 2015. Also in 2015, Jennifer was selected to be a part of a Teachers2Teachers-International Team to Ecuador to train teachers and students in STEM techniques.
Presently Jennifer is excited about training to work with Special Olympics of Oklahoma and Unified Sports. She will be working under the direction of Kyle Mather. Jennifer especially enjoys working in the after school program (J-Club). She has been an instructor for this program from 2012-2016.
It is obvious Jennifer is a science geek and proud of it! When asked what her proudest moment is as a teacher, Jennifer replies, "It's simple. When I see the spark of excitement in students to learn about the world around them, I know the sky is the limit! It is my job to help them reach the sky."
Web Links about Room 8
www.popsci.com (search: daftari): Class involvement with Popular Science and Science Illustrated
http://www.newson6.com/Global/story.asp?S=12750647 : Green Country Teacher Takes Experience to School
http://secondaryconference.org/viewpage.php?id=110&panel=1 : 7 Habits Course Description
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS155155+01-Apr-2009+BW20090401 : Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy
http://media.nba.com/thunder/community/teacher.html : NBA Thunder Teacher of the Game
http://www.newson6.com/Global/story.asp?S=10399753 : Jay 5th Graders Go 3D With NASA
http://www.newson6.com/Global/story.asp?S=8110430 : Class Popular With Science Magazine
http://www.newson6.com/Global/story.asp?S=8196065 : Science Students in Spotlight Again
http://sde.state.ok.us/Teacher/TOY/finalists/JenniferDaftari.pdf : Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Finalist
http://www.okgazette.com/article/08-04-2010/Three_Oklahoma_teachers_got_to_be_kids_again_at_space_camp_in_Alabama_as_part_of_math_and_science_initiative.aspx : 2010 Honeywell Space Academy for Educators
http://www.osuit.edu/news_and_events/view_news.php?news_id=471 : LEGOs Training
http://okea.org/assets/docs/member-resources/focus/2008/EdFocusApril08.pdf : Jay Students on “Read Across America” Day
http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/ss08_032_04_6 : Guest Editorial in Science Scope
http://teacheratsea.wordpress.com/category/noaa-teacher-at-sea-2/jennifer-daftari/: NOAA Teacher at Sea
http://www.newson6.com/story/12750647/green-country-teacher-takes-space-experience-to-school: Green Country Teacher Takes Space Experience to School
http://www.newson6.com/category/121535/video-page?clipId=5980372&autostart=true: Jay Teacher and Students Visit NASA’s Space Camp This Summer
http://www.newson6.com/story/18720347/2012/06/06/jay-11-year-old-makes-special-memories-with-dying-father: Jay 11 Year Old Makes Special Memories With Terminally Ill Father
http://www.newson6.com/story/18246262/jay-students-publish-their-own-coloring-book: Jay Students Publish Their Own Shark-Themed Coloring Book
http://grandlakenewsonline.com/jay-students-just-returned-from-space-camp-p889-161.htm: Jay Students Just Returned From Space Camp