Janet Tyson, 2007

Janet Tyson, president of the Easton Educators Association, is the winner of the MTA Retired Members Committee's 2007 Looking to Honor One of Our Own contest.

The annual contest provides the opportunity for an active or retired member to be honored for his or her influence on behalf of students, beginning educators and association members.

Tyson was nominated by her colleague Shawna Powers, a former fourth-grade student of Tyson's.

Powers prefaced her entry with the following:

Good, better, best
Never let it rest
Until your good is your better
And your better is your best.

"Jan Tyson is an outstanding educator. When I was a student in her fourth-grade class, she taught me the above chant," Powers wrote. "She rehearsed it with us regularly so that we all committed it to memory. More importantly, however, she taught us to always strive for our best through her example of extraordinary teaching and through her humanity.

"She encouraged my love of reading and of learning through a variety of fun projects that I remember well over 20 years later. For example, I still remember writing my very first research report on grizzly bears...

"What stands out the most in my memory, however, has nothing to do with curriculum," she continued. "Jan Tyson had, and still has, a special way of connecting with each of her students and forming personal relationships with them. I still remember the way she lifted me up through comments she made and compliments she gave."

Powers also praised Tyson's leadership as president of the Easton local, calling her "very supportive of the other teachers in the district."

"Whenever I have a question, I always feel comfortable approaching Jan about it," she wrote. "I know that she will always answer my questions honestly, and I never worry that she will judge me. Just as I knew she had my best interests at heart when I was her student, I feel the same way as her colleague.

"Jan Tyson is an MTA member who truly deserves to be recognized for her contributions," she concluded.

Tyson is retiring this year after 35 years of teaching fourth and fifth grades. Her career includes being president of the Easton Educators Association for 14 years, serving two terms on the MTA Board of Directors and serving as chair of the MTA Retirement Committee.

When Tyson was asked about her retirement plans, she didn't hesitate.

"I want to travel, learn to play golf and speak Italian," she replied.