James Center director set to retire at the end of January

After serving as director of the James Center, Reich College of Education’s advising center, for 10 years, Jan Stanley retired at the end of January.

“There’s so many incredible students that still want to teach,” Stanley said. “They just give you hope for the future because teaching is so important.”

Stanley’s desire to teach started when she was in elementary school.

“I was inspired (to teach) by my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Knifley,” Stanley said. “We just did lots of exciting things.”

Stanley was a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher for 17 years in Banner Elk before accepting her first position at App State as program coordinator for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs grant.

The GEAR UP grant aimed to excite first-generation college students about school.

“When I first finished college I couldn’t find a teaching job, so I didn’t teach until I was 30,” Stanley said

Stanley has also acted as a mentor and director of the Teaching Fellows program. When the Teaching Fellows program was cut in North Carolina in 2015, Stanley and others created the Appalachian Community of Education Scholars program in its place.

The ACES program is a four-year program that teaches professional development and community service.

Stanley said one of her favorite memories of her career was winning the Harvey Durham Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award in 2015, which is given to one full-time App State faculty member every year who has contributed significantly to freshmen succeeding on App State’s campus.


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Jan Stanley
Published: Feb 4, 2019 9:08am