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Teachers & Staff 

“Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.”
Ralph Marston

We are proud of our family atmosphere at Barefoot Kids. The longevity of our staff speaks volumes in a field that consistently deals with high turnover. 

All of our teachers:

  • Meet the staff qualifications and training of the Standards For Licensed Child Day Centers by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Have a variety of backgrounds and experiences that bring forth a multitude of talents.

  • Are experienced, nurturing, supportive, and dedicated.

  • Foster a joy of learning, which is necessary to develop the whole child. 


Excellence is expected from our teachers, thus encouraged in our children. Because the teacher sets forth the emotional climate and positive interactions of the classroom, each child’s needs are being met with success. Parents, teachers, administrators, and staff collaborate as a team to nurture the individual needs of the child.


Ongoing professional development is based on insight provided by observations, parent feedback, and the latest research in the field of Early Childhood Development.   



Jenifer Barefoot Hixenbaugh is the owner and director of Kempsville Academy, Inc. t/a Barefoot Kids. She began her professional early Childhood experience as a lead teacher with Barefoot Kids in 1993. She then completed her Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Development with a minor in Psychology from Virginia Tech. In 2009, Ms. Hixenbaugh completed her Master's in Education from Regent University.


Ms. Hixenbaugh is an advocate for early childhood education within her community and holds a seat on the Virginia Beach GrowSmart Policy Board. She has also previously served as a Virginia Quality Mentor, 1-2-3 Read! Virginia Trainer, and Early Childhood Education Adjunct Professor at Tidewater Community College.

Parent Council


Parents are an integral part of our school community, enriching and enhancing the life of the school in many ways. We love when they volunteer during daily activities or holiday celebrations, as well as when they share their unique professional talents. Our parents coordinate our Scholastic book orders and assist with our End-of-the-Year Art Show and Celebration. Parents also comprise our Advisory Board, which meets quarterly. This Board provides feedback to the administration on how to continue to strive for excellence within our program. We embrace a true parent-school partnership that provides an environment in which children can feel a true sense of family.

Teachers & Staff
Parent Council
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