Member Spotlight: Jenilee Peñaflor

Posted By: Charlie Wofford (deleted) Featured Members,

Jenilee Peñeflor Headshot

Jenilee Peñaflor

Jenilee Peñaflor brings a wide range of experience to K-12, from being a radio & television producer to an emergency medical technician (EMT). She decided to build a career that allowed her to use her expertise and energy in the service of students through technology. She has worked in California public schools for a decade at the district and COE levels, making technology accessible and enjoyable for those she serves. With a passion for social justice, Jenilee is active with several committees geared towards closing equity gaps for students, staff, and the community. Jenilee is committed to fostering interest in technology for girls and empowering women as leaders in the field.

Jenilee holds a B.A. in Mass Communication, an M.A. in Organizational Leadership, and is a CITE Certified Chief Technology Officer.

How long have you been in your current role and how did you get there?

"I have been the Coordinator, Systems Integration at the SMCOE [San Mateo County Office of Education] for 3.5 years. I met my boss and mentor, Lorrie Owens when I applied for (and didn't get) a different job. Recognizing my talent, she called me a year later with an ambiguous but exciting proposition to jump into leadership through a then-undefined role. This position has genuinely been the convergence of when need meets preparation and opportunity. I am incredibly proud of my work for the SMCOE and how I've shaped the role and my reputation through it."

What's a recent win you've had at work?

"I recently completed a help desk project that put ITS, Facilities, and Communications on a single support platform. Before this, ITS and Facilities practically managed requests manually, while Communications maintained four separate AirTable forms. Unifying all COE service requests under one platform makes it easy for staff to get help, track status, communicate with the service provider, and compile analytics."

How long have you been a CITE member? What is your favorite memory from a CITE event?

"I have been a CITE member for almost 4 years. My favorite memory so far has been representing women in technology on stage at CTOM Graduation 2022."

What do you do in your limited free time?

"This year, I aim to hike a new park or trail every month. When I'm not outside, you can find me singing karaoke."

Are there any special shoutouts you'd like to give to someone in your life or the CITE Community who has made a special impact on you?

"I often reflect on how my life changed when new characters were added to my storyline. Traci Bonde and Peter Cazanis recognized that I could take on a more significant role than my then-computer technician title and were instrumental in opening my eyes to where I could take my career. Lorrie Owens has prominently positioned me in circles I may not have ventured to, including CITE, which has allowed me to flourish. By her example and the many role models I have had the privilege to exchange ideas with through CITE, I have truly found my calling and people. I am forever grateful that these folks and many others have spent their time, energy, and social capital to help me grow."

If someone is intimidated or reluctant to get involved with CITE, what advice would you give them?

"I advise someone who is ready to get involved to find a mentor who can help them navigate the organization and its many offerings. Joining the local regional group is excellent, but having someone sit with you and make introductions is even better."