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  • Writer's pictureEmily Reed

JaNeece Thacker- Advisor, Special Educator, Mother

Say hello to the new academic advisor for Special Education–JaNeece Thacker! Before joining the Special Education team, JaNeece previously served as the academic advisor for Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education for six years. We love having JaNeece with us and we wanted you to learn more about her.

JaNeece lives with her family in Orem, Utah. She met her husband, Evan, while living in Boston and attending graduate school. Evan is also a BYU employee, working as a professor in the Department of Public Health. They have two kids, Sam (14) and Lauren (12), and they love spending time together as a family. Some of their favorite things to do are hike and play games, such as Azul, Skull King, Pacific Northwest, and Cities and Knights. Their family loves to travel as well, but JaNeece's perfect day "would be staying home, hanging out in [her] sweats, and reading a book in [her] clean house."

Before coming here as an employee, JaNeece was a BYU Cougar herself! She graduated with a degree in Special Education and then taught in Indianapolis for five years. JaNeece then received a Master's in Elementary Education from Boston College. She spent two more years teaching, adding her total time as an educator to seven years. During that seven year span, she taught everything from Kindergarten to 8th grade, but mostly was a 5th and 6th grade resource room teacher.

After both of her children started school, JaNeece decided that she would get her Utah teaching license renewed. However, her research took her on a different path. JaNeece shared, "In the process of doing that I happened to notice a job opening in the McKay School of Education for an academic advisor. I read the job description and thought it sounded like a really fun job, so I applied. Somehow I was lucky enough to get the job and it has honestly been my favorite job I have ever had."

One of the many things JaNeece does as an advisor is to help students decide on a major. When doing this she asks questions such as the following: What job do you hope to have after you graduate from BYU? What are some things you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about? What is it that draws you to a career in education? According to JaNeece, "these types of questions usually help the student begin to frame their thoughts and ideas about choosing a major and/or choosing a career." Ultimately, JaNeece says that it is important to understand that "careers evolve over time. Their major now will determine what doors are initially opened to them, but beyond that, there are many possibilities and other doors that will open for them... There are so many possibilities!"

We have had JaNeece here with us for about six years, and she is not planning on leaving anytime soon because she loves her job! Here is what JaNeece had to share with us. "I love helping my students who I advise with everything from creating graduation plans to planning for graduate school. I love connecting my students with resources at BYU that can help them be successful. I have loved getting to know my students and finding out what their goals are and helping them achieve those goals. I love the relationships I have with my students and I hope I can be a person at BYU who they know cares about them and cares about their success. Being an advisor in the Education Advisement Center is THE BEST and I plan to stay as long as the McKay School will keep me around!"

If you are interested in Special Education, meet with JaNeece Thacker today! She can help you make a graduation plan, learn more about your future career field, and much more. You can schedule an appointment here!

Is JaNeece not your advisor? No worries- you can read more about your advisor here.

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