Schoolhouse Supplies Snapshot Series: Jen Barth

Today we kick-off our Schoolhouse Supplies Snapshot Series, which will highlight various members of our staff and volunteers. First up is Jen Barth, our new Executive Director. (In case you didn’t catch it, The Portland Business Journal has a wonderful article about her joining the Schoolhouse team.)

Native of…and Portlander since?
I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. I moved to Portland in 2009 with my husband, a former Oregonian and proud Duck, and our twin daughters who were then 2 ½ , and are now 5.

When did you join the Schoolhouse Supplies team?
Today marks just about 2 weeks since I started. Needless to say, I’m learning and absorbing so much each day. Gayle White created a tremendous foundation, and formed an incredible team who I am honored to lead and help take our growth to the next level.

What Were You Up To Before Schoolhouse Supplies?
I ran Big Small Brands, a small business and nonprofit branding firm I founded in 2010, and held various leadership roles in the corporate, nonprofit, and agency sectors prior to that. I’ve been passionate about strengthening Oregon’s education and community resources since I moved here, too: I served as Oregon’s delegate for the Mom Congress on Education & Learning and founded Books Make it Better,  a grassroots, mom-powered early literacy movement in partnership with Reach Out and Read  and Parenting Magazine last fall. I am also a founding member of The Mission List, a community of women who are dedicated to using social media for social good.


Favorite Section/Item In Our Store:
The K – 2 section of our bookshelves. As a preschool parent, I’ve seen firsthand the power of early access to books with our own daughters; research shows that reading aloud to young children is the single-most important thing you can do to prepare them for success in the later school years. Today, we got an over-sized copy of Jamberry, which was a family favorite for years. I have it memorized!

Executive Director Jen Barth and her twin girls stocking the Schoolhouse shelves.

Teacher She’d Most Love to See In Our Store:
My middle School History teacher, Becky Henry. She had a way of making everything we studied feel accessible, and made even the most ancient history feel completely relevant to us. Now that I have a better understanding of what it takes to “break through” to young teens, I have an even greater appreciation for this.

What She Does In Her Spare Time:
My identical- yet nothing alike- twin 5-year daughters keep me on my toes, for sure. We love exploring Portland’s food cart scene, going on family bike rides, and searching for starfish in the tide pools along the Oregon Coast.

What’s your favorite Schoolhouse Supplies story?
I spoke to a teacher last week who told me that, because she didn’t have to spend her own money on school supplies for her classroom this year, she can afford to take her family on a summer vacation.

Stay tuned and check back for more posts featuring the Schoolhouse Supplies team this summer!

2 Responses to “Schoolhouse Supplies Snapshot Series: Jen Barth”

  1. Jen Barth

    Thanks so much, Eric. It’s an incredible honor to serve such a terrific team. Looking forward to connecting with you soon! Jen


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