Awesome Member of the Month: Jean LaGrone
Jean joined WellBound in November 2016 but she has led quite the life prior to us meeting her.
She and her husband Randy just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and boy what a 50 years it has been!
After many hiking and camping adventures Jean and Randy fell in love with a piece of land in New Mexico. Here they built their own one room cabin using only hand tools. Just big enough to fit all their important possessions and there was no electricity or running water, but they didn’t mind. Jean loved being close to nature; being outside, seeing the stars so bright, and smelling the clean air are some of her favorite memories from this time. Cooking on a wood cook stove created an interactive experience that Jean loved. She has a creative mind that enjoys being challenged. They adopted their son Jeff in 1977 and continued to live in New Mexico until the mid 80s
Jean is a teacher by trade, which has taken her on many great adventures as well. She has worked with the visually impaired, been director of bilingual studies on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, and was one of two teachers to teach 45 K-6 students in a small community school. Eventually Randy’s Psychology career brought them to Omaha where Jean finished her teaching career with Westside Community Schools.
In 1996 Jean was Nebraska’s Teacher of the Year! She spent a week in Washington DC and got to meet President Clinton in the Oval Office. She was initially nervous because they were warned not to make any sudden movements and if they reached for anything they would be shot. President Clinton went against all the rules that were laid out for the group, he made conversation and took pictures with the teachers. Jean now proudly says she has been to the white house and did not get shot!
This also meant she got to attend space camp with all the other teachers of the year. She enjoyed getting to play while learning and studying at the same time. Here they learned to teach in non conventional ways. Jean’s ultimate take away was how important it is to foster the wild thinkers of the world because those are the people taking us to new places.
Jean continued on teaching until she retired in 2011. During which time she received more teaching awards, sculpted young minds, traveled too many places to list, and acquired enough stories to keep you entertained for hours.
Now in her spare time she quilts, sews, and does other crafts. She made just over 200 masks to donate when the pandemic struck, loves making dolls and stuffed animals for the kids in her life, playing with her two Havanese dogs, Buzz and Sophie, and of course personal trains at WellBound 3 times a week!
We are very proud of Jean and so happy to call her a WellBound member!