When you think of a teacher, you think of school, math, reading, pencils, paper, and things like that. But how often do you think about the Olympics?
“My dance team tried out for the Coca Cola City Dancers and someone who saw it contacted us to participate in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.” Said Ms. Jean Champlain, a special education teacher at Southmoreland High School.
The year was 1996, and Champlain was a senior in high school. She had already been crowned Homecoming Queen, participated in a National Cheerleading Squad, and been chosen for Who’s Who among high school students (this is a program where a person among high school students significantly stands out). However, Champlain’s success doesn’t stop there.
That same year, the Olympics were held in the U.S.- Atlanta Georgia to be specific. When Champlain’s dance team tried out for Coca Cola City Dancers, someone saw their performance and contacted them. They were asked to take part in the opening ceremonies at the Olympics. The team quickly accepted.
The story doesn’t end there though. In college, at Slippery Rock University, Champlain participated in many activities. She was attending college for undergrad and grad school. She was on a dance team, she was on the Council for Exceptional Children, and she also held many jobs. During summer, Champlain worked at Hidden Valley Golf course. In the winter, she worked at Willie’s ski shop at Seven Springs. And during school, she was a waitress at Chi Chi’s.
Ms. Champlain is very passionate about her work. If you were to ask her, “why teaching?” or “why special education?”, she would tell you:
“Teaching is something I’ve always been interested in,” said Champlain. “I chose special education because of my younger sister, who has special needs.”
If there was one thing that you could see about Champlain, it’s that she loves her family. Her mom, dad, twin sister, younger sister, and her son are all very close to her. If Champlain is not working out, reading, or at church, she’s having quality time with her family and her son, Luke.