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Character Reference:


Get to know Jennie

I am deeply concerned for our children, their education, the direction of their future, and parents playing a major role in all of it.  The Board of Education serves the children and their parents/guardians. We live in an open and free democracy where public education is paid for as it is a priority in our nation. Parents have a voice, they have a say, it’s their tax dollars, and their primary input is needed and welcomed. No agency should come between family members or undermine the nuclear family, unless deemed necessary.

What exactly are a parent’s rights? What are our children’s rights? This lends attention to parents and education. Parents know what is best for their children. As taxpayers, here in Watauga County, it is only natural to want to have a “say”, understand what is available concerning education of its citizens, and how your money is being spent. Board members of any county seat work for the people and collectively the board should reflect the desires of their constituents. This is my aim. My duty will be to the people of Watauga collectively and especially to the children and parents, to the best of my ability.

Why am I am running for Board of Education? My time to give back to the community is now. I resigned from Samaritan’s Purse last year knowing I was going to pursue my efforts in giving back to our community. The decision was made and our family agreed. Being diligent towards the work placed before me is what I see as a strong character trait I hold. It has always been a desire for me to unify our community on the principles of our constitution and to know and understand our rights as citizens of the United States. 

Married to Gerald Hanifan for 27 years, we have raised and schooled four children, and currently steward a budding farm with livestock. We have had a home in the Mountains since 2006, originally from the coast of Morehead City, NC. Our youngest child is a high school senior graduating in May of 2022 and is ready to further his education. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology with a statistics concentration. My work history has been most recently Samaritan’s Purse, teaching (4th through 12th), AT&T, as well as assisting our financial business of 30 years, and helping run our not-for-profit charity.


As far as education: we have played a part in private school, special needs accommodation, public school, home school, dual enrollment, college, and masters. We hold a robust belief that parents know their children and that each child has a bent, and should be taught accordingly. Regardless of where a parent chooses for their child to be taught, one thing remains the same: each one of us belong to this community, and these precious children of ours are looking to us to teach them the fundamentals or basics of education (reading, writing, and arithmetic).

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