Meet Jungle Jama:
“Jungle Jama” is Nicole Kennedy. Kennedy is the Title I Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator for the Troup County School System. She received her undergraduate degree from Auburn University in Early Childhood Education. She received her master’s degree and her specialist’s degree in Elementary Education from University of West Georgia and Troy State University respectively. She also has her leadership certificate from University of West Georgia. She has worked in the public school system for 27 years as a teacher, administrator, and central office leader.
“Jungle Jama” is a cousin to Troup County’s “Mama Jama”. Children and adults alike have been reading books with “Mama Jama” for over twenty years. Community members are not a bit surprised to know that her cousin also loves to read and share stories.
“Jungle Jama” is passionate about helping children and their families be successful. She encourages families to read to their children from birth forward! 20 minutes of reading a day paves the way for future success!
Meet Reading Ranger:
Gail Lee Gordon is known as “Reading Ranger” on The Jungle Bus. Gordon is the Success By 6 Coordinator with United Way of West Georgia. She received her undergraduate degree from LaGrange College with a double major in Psychology and Early Childhood Education. She received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of West Georgia as well as her Specialist Degree in Early Childhood Education.
She also has her leadership certificate from University of West Georgia. She worked in the public school system for 20 years before taking a break to be a full time mom to her teenage son. While teaching, Gordon taught in the lower grades with her passion being kindergarten. She was also an elementary counselor as well as a high school counselor in the Troup County School System. During her time away from the education field, Gordon obtained her Real Estate Sales License as well has her Broker’s License and started Lone Oak Realty.
When she was heading back to work in the school system, Gordon stumbled upon the job of Success By 6 Coordinator where she would focus on school readiness in younger children before they started school. Gordon has always recognized that a parent is their child’s first teacher and the first years of life are critical in a child’s future success. This is the message she still shares today.