Ceren Johnson is our new Executive Director of the Early Learning School here at the J and we are so happy to have her on board!

Originally from Ankara, Turkey, Ceren moved to the US in 2000 and has lived in Colorado for 16 years. She has a sensational background in Early Education and she’s deeply passionate about education and building strong relationships between students, faculty, and families.

First off, you have a very cool name. What is its origin, how do you pronounce it, etc.?

CJ: Thank you. It is a Turkish name and it throws everyone off; when I say it sounds like ‘Jarin.’ Because we do not think of the letter “C” sounding like a “J.” However, I do not take offense if someone mispronounces my name. Typically, I accept anything remotely close to my name because I’ve heard it all.


Have you always had a passion for Early Learning? What’s your background in working with preschoolers?

Ceren Johnson: I started my journey as an assistant teacher in the ECE world. Later became a Lead Teacher, Assistant Director, and School Director. ECE is where my passion is. I truly feel that with a little bit of groundwork, we can offer inclusive, quality education to all children.

How many kids do you have?

CJ: I have a 3 ½-year-old son, Oliver Sebastian.

What does your partner do for a living?

CJ: My husband, Christopher, is a Project Manager for Hunter Douglas in Broomfield. He has been with that company for nearly ten years.

What are you most excited for as your transition into your new role here at the J?

CJ: I am excited to join a community that focusses on the growth and development of young children. This allows me to work and lead a team of individuals that have a deep seeded belief in doing right by children and being an advocate for them. Additionally, I am looking forward to becoming part of this family and grow as a community.

What’s the best part about working in a preschool/early learning center?

CJ: I love watching children grow and develop through the program. I enjoy supporting and enabling the teachers to pursue their passion of teaching children from all walks of life.

What are you and your family looking forward to doing this summer?

CJ: Every summer my family and I travel to some destination with a beach. This allows our family to get away from stress, and rush of every day and bond in a way where we are only focused on each other in a stress-free environment. It is our reward after working very hard for an entire year.

What’s one fact about you that seems to surprise people?

RW: That I have a toddler, 2 jobs and I am currently studying for my Doctorate degree. People often think this is an impossible task. For me, I function better where I have many things on my plate…

Welcome to the JCC Denver, Ceren! We can’t wait to see all you accomplish with the ELS.