After graduating from East Rockaway, Mrs. Beyrer attended Salisbury State University. Mrs. Beyrer had yet to experience the type of disappointment from not getting into her first choice school, SUNY Geneseo. She was disappointed with the SUNY system,and as a result, ventured to Maryland.
In addition to the positive experience in the education program at Salisbury State, Mrs. Beyrer marks her college education as a time in which lessons were plenty. As a manager in food services, her supervisor told her she acted too much like a leader, and not enough as a manager. She was collaborative and tried to discover new ways to complete general processes and procedures. While her feedback of being too much of a leader was not meant in a positive way, this position allowed her to define her leadership role as inclusive and proactive.
While at Salisbury State, Mrs. Beyrer also volunteered as a Daisy Girl Scout Leader. Working with Kindergarten aged children in this role was one of the experiences that influenced Mrs.Beyrer to pursue elementary education, rather than high school, as she initially planned. This experience allowed Mrs. Beyrer to continue to give back to the community, while having fun with the children. This tapped into her helping skills.
Mrs. Beyrer's college experience was vastly different from her previous education experience at East Rockaway, which she described as a "Fish Bowl," In a place where she had very involved parents, was a little sister of brothers everyone knew,and Dr. Meagher's daughter, she was excited to figure out who she was on her own, be herself, and find out who that would be.
At a career fair, Mrs. Beyrer was presented with the opportunity to teach in Baltimore, with a recruiter telling her, "you are exactly the kind of person we want to come teach." Apprehensive about moving to a new city, Mrs. Beyrer completed two years of service with AmeriCorps, feeling that she understood New York City more than Baltimore, which would allow for a smoother transition. In this role, Mrs. Beyrer taught, hung out with kids, learned, and trained. She highly recommends this to future teachers, leaders, and anyone still figuring out what they want to do after graduating college. Some exciting highlights were conferences and workshops that allowed her to travel to South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Arizona.
Wanting to be the next Diana Friedman, Mrs.Beyrer graduated college with an English Concentration in Secondary Education. After continuing exciting opportunities in an elementary school classroom within her AmeriCorps service, taking youngsters to the Coney Island Aquarium, running groups, Mrs. Beyrer fell in love with providing education and support to elementary aged children. She was so successful in a job that supported children when school was out, that the principal called to offer her first teaching position. Prior to working at P.S. 28 in Washington Heights, Mrs. Beyrer trained teachers in computer use.
First teaching jobs often lack glamour, but Mrs. Beyrer shares that she had a very cool first year. She taught fifth grade, in a school where 250 students were in the graduating class. There were 32 in her class, and she most looked forward to their Saturday School Reading Program. She and her students ate breakfast together,while they read and talked about books. Her students became her allies as she managed challenges in the classroom.
Through the smallness of East Rockaway, at an Ed Foundation Fundraiser, Mrs. Beyrer's first grade teacher, Elaine Rauch, took her by the hand and told her to teach here. After interviewing, Mrs. Beyrer began teaching at East Rockaway with seven other teachers to include Ms. Muscarella, Dr. Soto, Mr. Weber, and Mrs. Healey. Currently at Rhame, she loves the community with whom she teaches. There is something so beautiful about East Rockaway and the helpful people. An example of this is that if she forgets to bring lunch, any of her colleagues would either buy her lunch, or share their food, the same as she would for them.
One of the most exciting things about working at Rhame Avenue was the ability to photocopy anything you wanted. This was quite a change from the protocol in New York City that required an approval process. Another change Mrs. Beyrer enjoyed was the ability to easily connect with teachers, support staff, and administrators to collaborate in order to support students.
Mrs.Beyrer Loves teaching at Rhame. She loves when she gets to see her kids, which are her students; her kids at home being her "personal children." She loves seeing them grow, hearing what they remember, and learning about where they are in their lives.
As an East Rockaway Student, Mrs. Beyrer recalls Rock Rivalry as a big favorite. She was the overall chair for four years, and served with her fellow alumni Michelle Healey. They sometimes get to teach together, and have been friends for years. In addition to Rock Rivalry, Mrs. Beyrer enjoyed school musicals. Her favorite was playing Wendy in Peter Pan, alongside Ms. Murano as Mr. Smee, and Ms. Healey as Captain Hook.
One way that a skill learned in Rock Rivalry has helped her current role is through the writing of a play with her colleague Heidi Kreit. It was basically written to be similar to a rock rivalry entrance; about 30 minutes in length with plenty of opportunities for a variety of characters to have a part, big or small, a clear beginning, middle and end and chances for updates and jokes to be added as they arose. The students embarked on a journey through a narrative and learned some lessons about writing along the way while encountering their favorite fairy tale characters. It was great fun to create and great fun to bring to life.
Teaching inspiration comes from Diana Friendmen, her favorite teacher. She was someone who let students sit in circles and talk about books in the late 80's and early 90's when that type of education was not the acceptable norm. Mrs. Beyrer wanted to lead her life doing the same. She recalls positive experiences with her former social studies teacher and mock trial advisor, Mildred Block, who unfortunately passed away. Practices allowed for an inclusive, intimate, and community feel, while the members of the team enjoyed a fancy lunch in her beautiful home.
Mrs. Beyrer is the happy mother of three really active boys. She is married to a great guy, Joe, who plays bagpipes for our community on St. Patrick's day, even though he teaches in Lynbrook. As the president of ERTA, Mrs. Beyrer believes she has a deeper understanding of the school community from her experiences, which helps inform her work in that role. She believes it is so Important to be kind, and help others, and however you live your life, whatever you do, do the best you can.
Janeen prides herself on having an adventurous spirit and credits her exciting life to her curious nature. After graduating from East Rockaway, Janeen Kelley attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Although she was also invited to audition at Julliard, Janeen was awarded scholarship money upon graduation. This, as well as an opportunity to explore a new location, was appealing to her. Attending Julliard did not seem realistic at the time.
Initially, Janeen majored in Criminal Psychology with a minor in Women's Studies, but she became more involved in music, as it was always a passion. Janeen taught herself how to play bass guitar and spent time as the lead singer in a band, touring up and down the West Coast. Her adventures eventually led her to meet Pearl Jam, whom she had the opportunity to spend a few weeks getting to know. Shortly thereafter, Janeen moved to Seattle upon transferring to University of Washington.
While in Seattle, Janeen's continued participation in the music scene, as well as her interest in women's equality, led her toward greater activism. She volunteered for organizations like Rock for Choice and Rock the Vote which aim at encouraging youth voting. Janeen continued to use her talents to get involved in a variety of areas, as she recognized that inequality was being experienced by many of those around her, and felt she could bring some good to the cause. She shifted her major to Behavioral Psychology and began working in women's shelters and with those who are hearing impaired.
Seattle is also where Janeen met her husband, Tyler. They moved back to New York to marry, and Janeen went back to school at Molloy where she received a Master's in Secondary Education. She and her family moved to Florida where she taught high school English for five years at Pineview School for the Gifted.
When Janeen's first daughter, Lorelai was born, she shifted her career to becoming a homemaker. Taking photography classes during Lorelai's nap time, Janeen cultivated a passion for the art, and soon she began taking children's photos professionally. Janeen greatly enjoyed her time as a lifestyle photographer. It was fun, kept her busy, and allowed her to be creative. Janeen loves all creative endeavors and often wondered how others seem content doing a single profession their entire careers.
Janeen and her family currently reside in the Raleigh area of North Carolina. She loves experiencing the four seasons and believes that this location is a happy medium considering the other places she has lived. Janeen is currently back in school (again!) studying Interior Design virtually at the NY Institute of Interior Design.
As an East Rockaway student, Janeen was a large part of Rock Rivalry. She was Overall Chair, Entrance Chair, on the script committee, choreography committee, writer, and director and carried lead roles in '91 and '92. In 1992, her class broke all the records and set a bar that has not yet been surpassed by another class.
Janeen looks back fondly on her years at The Rock. She recalls failing band with a 64 because she played her own composed music rather than what was directed. This experience taught her a lot about life, and that even in creative settings, there is a time and place for rules and self-expression.
Beginning at her time in East Rockaway, Janeen formed an understanding that if she was going to change things about the world, she couldn't do so in a conventional manner. She had many experiences in which she pushed boundaries, and the world pushed back. Janeen realized that she needed to use her creativity to influence the world in a way that it would accept.
With a graduating class that was so small, classmates felt like Janeen's true family. Despite her opportunities to live in so many different places and experiencing tons of adventure, she still considers East Rockaway home and the people there her family. Janeen's attributes a lot of who she is to being a Rock. She believes East Rockaway taught her to cultivate herself into someone worth knowing.