Feature Teacher: Janice Geist

Leaving a Legacy at Myers


Phoebe Potter

Mrs. Geist poses with her 35th and last class of elementary students at Bellwood-Antis. She is retiring at the end of this school year.

Mrs. Janice Geist has been teaching at Myers Elementary for 35 years, and she has influenced past, present, and future generations of Bellwood-Antis teachers and students.

Mrs. Geist has spent her entire career at Myers. She taught first grade for 10 years and kindergarten for 25.

Mrs. Geist said her educational philosophy is, “Childhood should be a journey… not a race.” She chose teaching kindergarten because she always liked working with children since she was a teenager when she helped at her church or local playground.
Kindergartener TravisNoland said, “We count numbers and she helps us,” while classmate Maddie Larson said, “She reads good books to us.”

Kindergartener Summer Yon said, “She plays fun stuff with us.”

She continues to teach because it is something she loves, and it really shows. She loves how much everyone cares about education in the Bellwood Community. The parents and staff all work well. Her favorite part about her job is the conversations she has with 5 and 6 year olds and the author visits because it really gets the kids excited to read more.

Pete Harry, another kindergarten teacher at Myers, said, “I really appreciate her wisdom and the research she reads. She really stays up to date so her students get the best they can.”

According to Principal Terri Harpster, Mrs. Geist is also instrumental in influencing new teachers. “She’s mentored more new teachers than anyone,” she said. “From that we have been able to triple our kindergarten teaching staff. She’s mentored all but one so even after she retires there will still be a part of her in every kindergarten classroom.

“She is definitely going to be hard to replace. She is one of the most well-read teachers in the building. She has constantly sought out her out professional growth even in her last year of teaching.”

It is no doubt that Mrs. Geist will be one of the most missed teachers in the Bellwood-Antis School District.

Kindergarten student Cameron Gallagher said, “She’s a great teacher.”