For over thirty years, Jeanne Heaslett has played various roles at TUSD – office manager, library clerk, and volunteer, just to name a few. But today, she decided to take on a new role as she read the classic, “Sleeping Beauty” aloud to students in the library at Wright Elementary School. Today, she came to Wright dressed as the fairy tale princess, but instead of Sleeping Beauty, the students called her Queen Jeanne.
Queen Jeanne got the idea of dressing up for her students after hearing author and educator Ron Clark speak at TUSD’s All Staff Back to School Assembly during the first week of school in August.
“He said one of the ways he got his kids excited about learning was by dressing up, so I thought I’d give it a try,” said Jeanne. “Seeing me in costume has gotten their attention and I think the kids are definitely going to remember what they learned today.”
Wright Elementary Principal Maria Marin met Jeanne seven years ago when she was the Office Manager at Roskruge K-8. Jeanne worked for Marin for two years before she retired. When Marin started working at Wright, Jeanne was quick to follow. At the time, Wright was transitioning between office managers, so Jeanne stepped in to volunteer in the office. Not long after she began volunteering at Wright, Jeanne was hired part-time as a library clerk for the school.
“Jeanne is great. She keeps everything looking clean and sharp and the kids love her!” noted Marin.
These days, Jeanne is back to volunteering, only this time around she is providing more direct services for students and coordinating additional volunteers for the school – even Jeanne’s husband can be found helping students check out books in the library!
“I was an office manager for 27 years, but I always wanted to be a teacher,” Jeanne explains. “Now I spend six hours a day, five days a week reading stories and teaching students. I think I get more from the students than what I give.”
Approximately 40,000 volunteers provide over 270,000 hours of service to TUSD schools each year. For more information on how to volunteer at Wright or any other TUSD school, contact the principal where you'd like to volunteer. A directory of TUSD schools can be found at www.tusd1.org.