Northeast Metro 916 School Social Worker Jennifer (Jenn) Bulmer lives and works with a passion for helping others, following the philosophy quoted by Dr. Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
For the past five years, Jenn has made an impact on students and staff across the district, working at WELS-South, the former programs at Otter Lake and Sunrise, and most recently, Karner Blue. Due to her high energy, creativity, dedication and tireless advocacy work on district and state levels, Jenn was nominated for the Minnesota School Social Worker of the Year Award by Eddie Gibson, related services principal/manager, along with Karner Blue staff and her social work colleagues.
“Jenn cares about the future of our students, their education and mental health needs. She truly embodies the very best that anyone can offer in the field: compassion, integrity, commitment, high expectations and impressive student results” says Kayna Plaisted, instructional coach. “I know many students within our school district would not be where they are today without the self-regulation, confidence and social skill strategies she has taught them.”
Jenn holds her master’s degree in social work from University of St. Thomas/University of St. Catherine and a certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from Hamline University. She is currently pursuing additional certificates in urban teaching and Other Health Disabilities (OHD).
Humbled by her nomination, she says, “My achievements are a result of amazing mentors and colleagues at Northeast Metro 916. I am grateful to have been a part of cohesive teams with staff, families, and outside providers.” While Jenn knew she wanted to work with children with complex needs after graduate school, she initially had a moment of doubt, thinking, “What have I got myself into.” But working with a group of caring, compassionate, and energetic staff during her first year served as amazing role models and taught her the best ways to effectively interact and connect with this new population of students that she had no prior experience working with.
Her favorite part about her job is being with her students every day, watching them grow and develop more skills that help them become more independent, and working on a team that is supportive of one another both professionally and personally. “The trust between myself, families, colleagues, and students is the reason why I feel rewarded in my work and believe this type of interaction leads to effective collaboration to create the best possible outcomes for students,” she says.
Outside of Northeast Metro 916, Jenn stays busy working as a crisis social worker in the emergency room at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. She is also an active member of Education Minnesota, serves on several committees for the Minnesota Department of Education and recently partnered with four other district social workers to co-facilitate parent education groups for Ramsey County. She also loves her dog Murphy, being an aunt, Notre Dame sports, skyline chili, hiking, cabins, and reading.