Crane will start new adventure in North Carolina.
by Julia Harrington
For eleven years, Special Education Teacher JeLynn Crane has been an inspirational figure in the TJ community, and she will leave behind a legacy of caring as she embarks on a new adventure in North Carolina.
Crane started working at TJ during the 1996-1997 school year. “I don’t feel like I chose to work here, I feel like this place chose me. It just kind of happened; this was my calling,” said Crane, who has not only taught special education, but she has also coached volleyball at each level. She has also supervised Student Council. “I have really enjoyed knowing JeLynn as a teacher and friend. She will be greatly missed by me and all of the students that know her,” said Senior Amanda Weaver, who has been an assist in Crane’s classroom since freshman year.
“TJ has introduced me to an amazing population of students,” said Crane. Some defining moments of her career are when Unified Sports, a gym class with special education students mixed with regular education students, was featured on a 9news Cool School Edition. “We came early and they filmed us for the morning news. It was a very proud moment for me,” said Crane. Another memorable moment in her career was when a former student Adela Rice, was awarded a letter jacket. “Seeing our kids at things like prom makes me feel as though they are really accepted in the TJ community,” emphasized Crane. She takes great pride in her students and their triumphs, and enjoys seeing them as a part of the TJ community.
Currently Crane works with Multi Intense students (MI). “The kids I work with are higher academically, so I am teaching fewer life skills and more academics,” said Crane. While working with MI students the goals are the same, but the curriculum is different. “For us seeing the light bulb go on is a phenomenal moment. They don’t happen as much for our kids so when it does, it’s very special,” said Crane.
Teaching special needs students is something that Crane gets great pride and enjoyment from. “These kids have taught me not to take life for granted; they have taught me patience and unconditional love. They have taught me to be myself,” said Crane. Students and faculty alike often find solace in the special education classrooms. “Teachers, administrators and students often come down to hang out with our kids. They’re just thrilled that they’re there. I wish everyone could have their carefree non-judgmental attitude. More people should live like that,” expressed Crane.
Crane is moving closer to family and pursuing a new career in North Carolina. “With two small kids (Avery, 3 and Carson, 11 months), I am looking forward to having family around. This is important to me and my husband,” said Crane, who will continue to work with special education students at Lead Mine Elementary, in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I’m looking forward to working at an elementary school and I feel that this will enable me to be a better working mom. I’m excited that my kids will be able to go to the school where I work,” said Crane. She is working with the principal to pursue an assistant principal position in the fall. “I feel that this move will improve the quality of life for our family,” she said.
Crane does not leave TJ empty handed; she will take all the memories and the support that she has received throughout the years. “Being in the special needs program at TJ, we have so much support from the administration. I have felt very blessed to work here because of the administrative support,” expressed Crane. The feeling is reciprocated by TJ faculty.
“Losing JeLynn is an incredible loss for TJ, as much as DPS as a whole,” said fellow special education teacher Keri Myers.
“I am going to miss TJ greatly. No school will replace the memories I have here. But, I’m excited for my new opportunity,” said Crane.