Jan Shepard Stafford Elementary second grade teacher

Image: Jan Shepard loves teaching at Stafford Elementary and has proven that by the fact that she has worked there for thirty-three years.

Jan Shepard loves teaching at Stafford Elementary and has proven that by the fact that she has worked there for thirty-three years. (Cindy Sutherland)

How many of you remember your second grade teacher? Well, if you had Jan Shepard for your second grade teacher you would remember her. She goes the extra mile to make your child’s school experience a good one.

Jan Shepard is an icon at Stafford Elementary, she has been teaching there for thirty three years. Jan said, “My first day of teaching was at Stafford Elementary and my last day of teaching will be at Stafford Elementary.”

Jan never realized that she ever wanted to teach elementary age students. She had her degree in art education and figured she would probably do something with older students. So, when I asked her how it came to be that she ended up teaching little ones she explained, “My husband Glenn and I were living in Lubbock. I had a degree in art education but wasn’t teaching. I was staying at home with our son. A friend and I decided to start a daily preschool program at our church. It was very successful and I realized I liked working with young children. Then we moved to Italy. I met Mr. Scott (past superintendent at Italy ISD) and I asked about applying to teach art. At that time Italy did not have a high school art program. He told me if I would go back to school to get an elementary endorsement he would hire me and the rest is history.”

Shepard said like with any job there are growing pains. You learn as you go along. “When I started teaching we used paper and pencil. Then we were using computers and we had to learn how to use computers. We started out with cassette tapes to help the children in various subjects and then cassette tapes turned into cd’s. I remember copiers with purple ink. Technology is wonderful but it also comes with lots of learning and ‘growing pains’.”

When asked what was the most rewarding thing about teaching Jan replied, “When the students come back all grown up and want to see you. They want to come back and say, ‘Thank You’. It is then you realize how important teaching is. It changes lives and helps students grow up to make good educated choices.”

Mr Miller (Stafford Elementary principal) had this to say about Jan Shepard, "Ms. Shepard demonstrates attributes that are extremely valuable as a professional educator. Her ability to communicate, lead and connect with students, staff members and parents have propelled her to a level of high excellence for many years. "

We are glad you are here teaching our students Jan Shepard!

Comment from Karen Mathiowetz received March 20, 2012, 9:12am

Jan Shepard is an amazing teacher and an asset to Stafford and the Italy community. I have known first hand how important she has been to her students. My son, Carson, was fortunate to have Ms. Shepard teach him in the early 80s. He had a learning disability that she understood and helped him adapt. He moved to Georgia when he was in the 3rd grade. I asked him when he graduated from high school several years ago if there was one teacher that had helped him more than others. Without hesitation, he answered, “Mrs. Shepard”. He told me if it wasn’t for her he would have had a lot of trouble passing in later years. From the bottom of my heart, I am thankful for Jan being a true educator and enriching the lives of all of her students, including Carson. Karen Mathiowetz