Jennifer Nottell is a native of Rochester, NY. She was born in New York's Southern Tier, where she spent much time at her grandparents farm. She graduated from Wilson Magnet High School, ranked 4th in the nation at the time, and then went on to serve 10 years in the United States Navy in the Ordnance and Supply fields, as well serving in the Naval Choir and Honor Guard during the Desert Shield and Desert Storm era.
She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Oswego State University. She taught Math and Science and served her local community in the Head Start program as a Preschool teacher and an Educational Disabilities Specialist.