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Triple Colonel Jana Mayer Inspired to Teach by her 2nd Grade Teacher

Jana Mayer EKU Alumna and Model Laboratory School Teacher

Jana Mayer was inspired to be a teacher by Mrs. Helen Maines, her 2nd grade teacher at Mason County Elementary School in Maysville, Kentucky. “When I was younger, I had a stutter and was labeled as a nonreader.  I worked really hard to overcome my stutter and Mrs. Maines gave me confidence in my reading and helped me to love school again,” said Mayer.

Mayer loves teaching because of the relationships she builds with her students and their families. “Those relationships don’t end at the conclusion of a school year; they continue throughout the years. I have watched my former third graders graduate from high school! I love when parents sent me graduation invitations. Knowing I contributed to their achievements is an amazing feeling,” she said.

Mayer is a teacher at EKU’s Model Laboratory School and has taught 3-5th graders as well as 7th grade social studies and leadership. She also serves as the Extended Learning Coordinator and has worked with Primary Talent Pool students. The Primary Talent Pool is for students in kindergarten through third grade with the ability to perform at exceptionally high levels. 

Mayer has taught 15 years and is a Triple Colonel, earning all her degrees and certifications: a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (2000), certification in special education with an emphasis in emotional and behavioral disorders (2008) and Rank I/master's in teacher leadership with an endorsement for teaching the gifted and talented (2019). 

She has supervised several extracurricular activities including the Student Technology Leadership Program and Model's Lifelong Leaders. In the Lifelong Leaders Program, she collaborates with community and university leaders to build social and professional skills in 5-8th grade students. The students participate in an event called The Gauntlet in which they receive one-minute problem-solving skills and quick-thinking challenges. Over the last three years, Mayer collaborated with Dr. Michelyn Bhandari, EKU Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Community Health Option of the Master of Public Health Program, and Dr. Cynthia Harter, EKU Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Economic Education, to organize Gauntlet events. This year they created a virtual event with over 200 elementary and middle school students participating via Zoom. EKU students and business professionals including many EKU alumni helped with the competition.

“Teaching provides a fulfillment of knowing you are providing a service and helping to guide them to be a productive person to society. It is a wonderful reward. You see the efforts of your work and labor every day,” noted Mayer.

Published on March 23, 2021

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