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Leon Sheffield Magnet Elementary School

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Jan Mendenhall » A little about me

A little about me

I have been the counselor at Leon Sheffield Magnet School since 2013; I also served Ben Davis from 2013 to 2016. Prior to that I was the counselor at Somerville Road Elementary School from 2001 to 2013. I completed my 600-hour counseling internship in 2000-01 with Mary Gregory at both Ben Davis and Gordon-Bibb. I have a master's and an Ed.S. in school counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and I also earned National Board honors in 2008 and 2018. It was humbling and validating to be named Elementary Teacher of the Year for Decatur City Schools in February 2018.
I grew up on the West Coast and graduated from high school in Oregon. After two years in Portland, I moved to Texas and earned a bachelor's in English secondary education from Abilene Christian University. I taught high school English (and history and journalism) in the Texas panhandle, where I learned to drive a school bus across cattle guards. I worked briefly in Chattanooga before moving to Decatur in 1993, where I spent eight years at THE DECATUR DAILY, covering sports and education, and being a copy editor.
I read, mow, run, hike, write, work out, and travel, mostly to Texas or Washington state, where my family lives. I fell in love with baseball as a kid and have been to every MLB ballpark. I've also been to all 50 states; the last one was Rhode Island. My mind is typically churning out details for another project or adventure, including walking a chunk of the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail. Hmmm ... What will I do or travel next?