In Janice Romeiser’s world, emphasizing the importance of reading starts at a very early age. Newborn, in fact.
A co-founder of the local Read to Your Bunny literacy project, Janice visits new parents and delivers copies of the Rosemary Wells book by the same name. Now in its fourth year in Emporia, books, information and bunnies have been delivered to nearly 1,600 babies and their parents.
The activity is one example of Janice’s commitment to inspiring students, teachers, staff and parents to learn something new daily.
Beginning her teaching career in 1966 in an elementary classroom, Janice continued a daily challenge to spark her students’ interest in learning. “I was lucky to collaborate with fellow teachers in a new approach for learners, commonly called ‘Inclusion’ at the time,” Janice relates. That involvement spurred new learning experiences and a chance to share ideas and practices at local, state and national presentations.
Her teaching interests evolved into the arena of special education, prompting her to gain licensure as a K–12 educator for the learning disabled. It is in that capacity that Janice now finds herself in a highly unusual dual role: 1) Special Education Reading Coach for the Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative, where she works with teachers, students and staff in two Emporia elementary schools; and 2) directing the Teachers College Resource Center/Instructional Materials Center at Emporia State University.
Her work in that second responsibility earns praise from Dr. Ken Weaver, associate dean of The Teachers College at ESU: “Teachers are doing better jobs and preservice teachers are receiving better preparation because of Janice’s tireless leadership and efforts,” Weaver writes.
A 2002 Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame inductee, Janice Romeiser earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fort Hays State University, and received her special education certification at Emporia State University.