Director of Children’s Religious Education
Jena has always enjoyed helping others to recognize their strengths and reach for their potential. She worked closely with children as an Instructional Aide in Special Education, before earning her teaching credential. She holds a Master of Education from UC Santa Barbara and taught elementary for Santa Barbara Unified School District for five years before bringing her insight and passion to Children’s Religious Education here at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara.
Jena’s delight in teaching children the importance of living mindfully and relating compassionately is what inspired her to become involved in Children’s Religious Education (CRE). After volunteering as a workshop leader and member of the Children’s RE Story Selection Team, Jena was hired as Coordinator of Children’s Religious Education. During the 2013-2014 church year she was able to work closely with the previous Director of Lifespan Religious Education, LeeAnn Williams. Jena is grateful for LeeAnn’s mentorship and the incredible foundation that allows for programs like Wellspring Wednesday and CRE to flourish. In her role as Director, Jena is looking forward to co-creating events and traditions that establish lasting friendships among families.
Jena also teaches Nia, a sensory-based movement practice designed to strengthen one’s connection to mind, body, emotions, and spirit. She makes her home in Santa Barbara with her husband, Daniel, their son, Oliver, and their dog, Murphy.
Religious Education Coordinator
Tiffany has been one of our beloved childcare providers in Starr King on Sunday mornings and at special events since the beginning of this church year; she also works at Santa Barbara Yoga Center and as a nanny.
Born and raised in Iowa, Tiffany has a vibrant and varied background. She studied art in Europe, lived in South Africa and Mozambique working with non-profits, and has 20 years’ experience in child care.
Tiffany has called Santa Barbara home for the last five years, with the exception of a one-year break to live in an ashram while studying yoga and Ayurveda, ultimately earning certifications as a Yoga Instructor through Yoga Alliance and an Ayurvedic Massage Therapist from California College of Ayurveda. Tiffany is currently finishing a degree in Art Studio at Santa Barbara City College.
In addition to travel and learning, Tiffany LOVES her dog, Burberry!
Adam has spent the last 20 years working with youth in both a volunteer and professional capacity. First as an instructor for the University of California Los Angeles’ Summer Arts Intensive and as a facilitator for “Arts Bridge Los Angeles” creating arts-based curriculum for elementary youth in Inglewood, Los Angeles. He has also worked in a volunteer capacity with many UU congregations, chaperoning YRUU service trips around the country. He believes that we are bonded through community and a commitment to each other through work, shared values and experience. Spiritual practice is found in the doing – in the practice of helping others and being helped in turn.
Previous to working at USSB, Adam spent twenty years working professionally in theater production both on and off Broadway. His work was most recently seen at Lincoln Center Theater, The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, The Atlantic Theater Company, Theater for a New Audience, The Dublin International Theater Festival, REDCAT Los Angeles, The Walker Center for the Arts Minneapolis, Ensemble Theater Company Santa Barbara, and Elementary Elements at Mountain View Elementary School. He holds a BA and MFA from UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.