Jennifer was raised in a working-class family in the Milwaukee area. Her father was a factory worker, and her mother worked in the home, eventually reentering the workforce as a medical secretary. As the oldest of four children, Jennifer deeply treasures the relationship she has with her siblings. She knows that her family’s greatest strength was its commitment to one another. She credits her parents with instilling within her with a strong-work ethic and sense of purpose and identity. While neither of her parents attended college, they knew and taught her the values and principles needed to succeed in life.
As a young woman, Jennifer earned two bachelor's degrees at Maranatha Baptist University (Watertown), graduating with honors. She was the first person in her family to earn a college degree. She worked hard to pay her tuition bills, graduating debt-free.
After college, Jennifer taught high school history and English before becoming an associate professor of history at the collegiate level. She has had the privilege and responsibility of teaching the next generation about our great nation’s history: its heritage of freedom, its struggles and victories to achieve those freedoms, and its current fight to sustain them.
While working toward her master’s degree, she met her husband Tim, a fellow Wisconsinite. Jennifer and Tim moved to Watertown to support their extended family and to help their three children establish their roots in Wisconsin’s heritage.