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By Nicole Niemiec, MSU Alumni Association

  • Published: 06/26/2017

Michigan State University has 25 undergraduate and graduate programs ranked in the top 20 nationally by U.S. News & World Report with eight being ranked number one. Elementary Education which has been ranked number one for the past 23 years. MSU College of Education alumna Jane Held is one of many that has pursued the rewarding career of teaching.

Held graduated from MSU in 1985 receiving her Bachelors of Education degree. She went on to earn her Masters of Curriculum and Teaching in 1990. Before discovering her passion for teaching, she began her days in East Lansing as a nutrition major. Both of her parents were educators and her mother was even a Spartan alumn. Held, along with many others, is part of a Spartan Educator family. 

Currently teaching at Martell Elementary in Troy, Michigan, Held has taught almost all levels of elementary education but is currently teaching her favorite level, first grade. “I love them all, but first grade has some extra magic, These five-, six- and seven-year-olds unlock the mystery, power and joy of reading. There's nothing like it!”

When asked, what has been the best part about her career in the classroom, Held responded, “Teaching is such a rewarding profession. We have the opportunity every day to guide and inspire our students to be leaders. We can teach them that they have the power to make decisions and take charge of their path at any age. Teaching is so much more than the curriculum.” 

Held cherishes her time at Michigan State and is grateful for the opportunities MSU provided. “Teaching is definitely hard work, but not a day goes by that I don’t feel inspired, loved, challenged, respected and fulfilled. I also smile and laugh a lot. Kids have a way of doing this for you. You are earning this precious opportunity to touch lives and open learning and light to another human being. This is an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Jane Held’s impact on her students and the community around her begin at the first bell and will live on forever. Like other MSU College of Education alumni, she has been successful in sharing her passion with students for decades after graduation.

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