Mrs. Jeline Harclerode has taken the concept of caring to another level as a teacher, engaging her students in and out of the classroom – particularly those who are the most challenging – with an attitude of “whatever it takes.”
“‘Whatever it takes’ means meeting adolescents at their level of need; it means listening to their most recent accomplishments or the conditions of their probation – with unconditional acceptance,” Harclerode writes. “They are not looking for advice; they are looking for someone to listen.”
Harclerode has been listening to Emporia students since 1974. As a consummate professional, she is fully engaged in professional and community organizations and consistently participates in district committee work. She teaches CONNECT classes, instructing students in integrated computer use. One student recalls what Harclerode wrote in his yearbook: “Even when you were disrupting class you were doing it with a smile!” The student writes, “What I would say to that is, I did it with a smile because of Mrs. Harclerode. She made everything worthwhile.”
Steve Ternes, Emporia Middle School principal, was one of her nominators. He noted her rapport with students and colleagues. “If anyone has earned the title of mentor extraordinaire, it is Mrs. Harclerode; she is truly the matriarch of our professional staff and not by choice, but by the values and wisdom she exemplifies.”
Harclerode has taught in the Emporia USD 253 school district her entire career, and in Emporia Middle School since 1997 as a CONNECT teacher. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Baker University in 1973, and a master’s degree in special education from Emporia State University in 1974.