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Jean grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas., and graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School. Jean always knew she wanted to work with children and graduated from Pittsburg State University with a BS in Therapeutic Recreation. Jean later went on to Southwestern College for her Masters in Education with an emphasis in Special Education and found her calling in teaching. Jean is in her 35th year of being a teacher in the special education setting, currently at Eisenhower High School in Goddard.
Jean has one son, and one daughter, Chad and Nicole and she says grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 18 years old whom she adores
Jean has always had compassion and a heart for those who are facing difficulties in life. She loves teaching and seeing the student master tasks/skills that help each one of them grow in knowledge and become more independent . Jean's career started in a very different setting than in public schools-the Serendipity Special Purpose School at Winfield State Hospital and Training Center. This was Jean's first position as a special education teacher of children with special needs and where she learned her life passion was to help others with challenges overcome obstacles in the classroom setting.
Jean enjoys dancing. Jean has had dance lessons over the years and knows some of the basics of Rumba, Waltz and Salsa, but has never competed. Her favorite dance genre is West Coast Swing. She has completed four Bike Across Kansas tours and would like to get back into cycling.
She would like to get involved with Special Olympics and become fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).
Jean's compassion for helping others who are facing difficulties in life and enjoyment of dance makes her an excellent choice for this event. She is focused on bringing awareness to the community of Wichita regarding mental illness through supporting the mission of Breakthrough.
"Life goes on - keep on keepin' on and don't look back .......there's nothing for you there. Attitude is everything!"
When Jason was growing up he says he wanted to be a cop, or really just about anything as long as it WASN'T a dancer! Jason's father, David Thornton, has been a dance pro as long as Jason can remember, is in the National Country Dance Hall of Fame, and is a judge on a national line dancing association among a host of other qualifications and recognitions.
After all his defiance, and all his rejection of his father's way of life, when Jason got out of the Marines he headed straight for Joplin, Missouri, where he signed up for dance..under the tutelage of his father.
Within 3 years (the year his oldest was born), Jason was teaching professionally. That oldest, Jacob, is 18 and has been dancing 4 years and has 4 World Country dance titles. 15 yr old Gracie plans a life in medicine, and has a 1st place in National Country Dance, and 10 yr old Tytus loves basketball, he'll be competing in pre-teen for a world title soon.
Jason loves to teach, he says dance is all about learning to move the body, and not about the music. So, to those who think they're not teachable he says.. of course we are. We only have to want to learn.
His motto: Joy in repetition.
I get it!