Making the Grade: Jeff Meehan |

Making the Grade: Jeff Meehan

Summit Daily/Reid Williams Jeff Meehan, Breckenridge Elementary second grade teacher

Jeff Meehan is in his second year teaching second graders at Breckenridge Elementary School. Before migrating west to Summit County, the native New Englander taught fifth and sixth grades in New Hampshire for two years.Inspiration: When I was in graduate school for landscape architecture, I began substitute teaching to help pay the bills. I realized I really enjoyed the energy children exude. They are so interesting and fun to be around.When I was student teaching, a special needs boy told me in a note that I was a nice man. It sounds very simple, but, to come from that particular boy, it was very empowering to me. It really opened my eyes to the importance of being a teacher. I have the ability to help children feel good about themselves.

Motivation: The current status of the world is my motivating factor. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The single most important question you can ask yourself is, ‘What have you done to help others today?'”I am lucky to be teaching in a grade which is a perfect fit for me. Substitute teaching in the county enabled me to weigh the pros and cons for each age group. In second grade, the children are so excited to learn about anything new and are constantly thinking out of the box, because they haven’t really learned how to think inside of the box yet.Philosophy: My teaching philosophy is simple: Everyone in my class is a genius! It is my job to discover what the particular student’s strengths are and try my best to teach to those strengths.

Accomplishments: Getting a fulfilling job in the most beautiful, peaceful place in the world.Role models: Martin Luther King, Jr., for accomplishing so much using nonviolence; my dad for being so analytical and helping me make sense of the world; and my mom for showing me the importance of not putting yourself in front of others.

If I had $100,000: I would probably use the money to buy an outdoor campus somewhere close-by where the students could learn about our unique, delicate, high-alpine environment.Extracurricular: There are many activities I enjoy outside of school. All of them include my awesome wife, Nisa, and my best four-legged friend, Fletcher. We cross country ski almost every day. In the two weeks known here as summer, I like to play golf (badly) and hike. Lastly, I like to read, draw, and paint.Students would be surprised to know: I was the Ripperoo mascot at the ski resort two years ago.

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