Morehead, KY (January 4, 2012). Instructors, staff members, and students on the Rowan Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) are preparing for a brand new semester after a much appreciated Christmas break. For one beloved teacher, however, this is no ordinary transition.
Jane Hearn, reading and writing professor, is retiring after 33 years with what is now known as MCTCs Rowan Campus. Yet, despite the many years she has devoted to adult students of all ages, Jane did not begin her teaching career with the intention of working in higher education.
Jane received her bachelors degree from Eastern Kentucky University. She then began her first job as a second grade teacher in Clark County, which she held for two years. Her husband, Mike, was employed as a biologist for the Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery at Cave Run Lake, so they made the move to Morehead.
She joined the Robert J. Breckinridge Training School at Morehead State University (MSU) as a kindergarten teacher and pursued her masters degree in Education with certifications in pre-school education and reading through MSU. After graduation, she continued working with Breckinridge as a pre-school teacher while also teaching in the reading center.
Breckinridge was used as a model, said Jane. Students and parents were able to come in and observe, and they would video tape us. We were always on stage. We never knew when something we said would be used.
Jane was then asked by the Rowan County School District to teach kindergarten at the former Farmers Elementary School.
I thought I would be an elementary teacher the rest of my life, Jane said with a smile.
During the summer of 1984, however, she joined the newly named Rowan State Vocational Technical School, which had formerly been known as the Rowan County Area Vocational Education Center. This school would eventually become the current Rowan Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) after joining Maysville Community College as Rowan Technical College in 2001, then consolidating as one institution in 2004.
Her career with MCTC began under what some might consider unlikely circumstances.
A job came open at the technical school for a reading instructor, but I really was not very interested, Jane said, laughing. There was no library when I started teaching remedial classes in english, reading, and math. I was the library. And they have let me keep my original office even after the library was created.
The school was considered to be a model for the state of Kentucky at the time by incorporating academics into technical education. Each student was required to complete five credit hours of study skills taught by Jane.
We were referred to as the post-secondary model, said Jane. Students who were coming in had to wait until they had met all of the academic requirements before entering their technical programs.
This was taking place at a time when the school owned only one computer and had no internet connection.
Now that the library is here, it has been such a treat to work with Kathy Riddle, said Jane. All of the people I have worked with are like a family. It has been a wonderful place to work.
For Janes colleagues, that appreciation is more than mutual.
Jane is the most caring, thoughtful person and a very dear friend, said Kathy Riddle, library specialist on the Rowan Campus. It has been a pleasure to work and share space with her. She will be missed every day.
Professor Hearn is a prime educator who has touched the lives of many students in our region, said Rowan Campus Director Russ Ward. Her compassion for student success and willingness to listen, and take the extra step to assist students, is, in my view, what all of us as educators should strive to achieve. She is a colleague, a mentor, and more importantly a friend to all of us.
Bethany Lowery, assistant professor on the Rowan Campus, referred to Jane as a ray of sunshine. She brightens a room wherever she goes. I will miss her very much.
There are people that come and go in our lives, said Sandy Smallwood, assistant professor also on the Rowan Campus. Some we miss; others we fight to keep in our lives. Jane is one that I am blessed to have met and I know she will always be a part of my life.
Jane very much considers the instructors, staff members, and administration on MCTCs other campuses to be family as well despite the distance.
Jane Hearn has been a tremendous asset to MCTC, said MCTC President Ed Story. The consolidation process of merging our colleges was facilitated greatly by Jane and others at the Rowan Campus. Jane has always come to school with a smile on her face and was always prepared to assist students with reaching their highest potential. Her educational career has touched thousands of lives and her students had, and still have, the greatest respect for her. She has been a great friend to me personally and I wish her much success in her retirement. Those grandchildren are going to be center stage now.
Jane was the most eager person to learn new things that I ever worked with, said Karen Overley, assistant director of Financial Aid on the Maysville Campus. She would get so excited every time we would have a training together.
Donna Slone, associate professor on the Licking Valley Campus in Cynthiana, spoke of Jane as the type of friend and colleague that everyone needs in good and bad times.
Jane Hearn is one of those special people who light up a room instantly when they walk in, said Carla Redden, instructor and librarian on the Maysville Campus. Janes enthusiasm for lifelong learning is both inspiring and contagious. We will always miss her smiling face and endearing personality but we wish her the best.
Jane attributes the success of her teaching career to her love of learning. I know what it is like to be a learner. I am passionate about reading and I am positive that I have really changed students lives through books.
The impression she has made on many of her students is evident in their smiles and conversations.
She has had so many students and has helped so many, said Chris Daniel, Industrial Maintenance student on the Rowan Campus. There is no telling how many students she has impacted during her time here.
Mrs. Hearn had a passion for teaching and a passion for her students, said Calli Senters, Office Systems Technology student at Rowan. She would always pull you aside and let you know what is going on if you were not succeeding in her class. She is a lovely person inside and out.
In Janes opinion, her retirement is the end of only one chapter out of many to come in her life.
One of my goals for retirement is to learn things I have never had the chance to learn before, Jane said. I am fortunate to have worked at MCTC. To have known these people and to have been a part of this team has been a blessing beyond anything I can express.