Excelsior Springs High School teachers Jeff and Jessica Meyer are a young couple focused on helping the youth of Excelsior Springs succeed. The pair met in the break room at Excelsior Springs High School in the fall of 2011 and immediately hit it off. Jeff teaches math and has been with the district for 13 years and Jessica teaches ELA and has been here for 12 years. Both Jeff and Jessica were familiar with Excelsior Springs before moving here, Jeff grew up in Lexington and Jessica went to Platte County, right along “the 92 trail” as she calls it.
Two of the most popular teachers at the high school, the Meyers exude care and compassion for the students. As they walk down the hallway throngs of students wave, smile, and give them high-fives. Both Jeff and Jessica have been very involved in extracurricular activities at the high school. Jessica was a volleyball coach for seven years before taking a break to spend more time with their own young children. This year she’s one of the sponsors for the Student Council. She also serves on the Parks and Recreation board for the City of Excelsior Springs and has begun coaching youth sports now that their children have gotten a little older. Jeff has been coaching football here at Excelsior Springs for all thirteen years of his tenure. He’s coached track for nine years and he’s had “a couple of stints of coaching basketball.” JV boys basketball for four years and for one year he’s been the freshman boys basketball coach.
Both Jessica and Jeff said their parents were a big part of why they went into education and also why they work hard to leave a lasting impact on their students and community. “I come from a very long line of teaching. My parents were both teachers and coaches… growing up, they were super involved in the community and I always kind of wanted that for myself, but I wanted to do it somewhere else… to kind of make my own footprint,” said Jessica. “My story is almost identical,” said Jeff, “My dad was in education for forty years… he was a guidance counselor at the high school assistant football coach. The bond that he had with the other coaches and the families, it was just such a tight-knit community. So growing up in that, I think I always knew that I wanted to go into teaching and coaching.”
The Meyers’ daughters are now in 1st and 3rd grades and they say they couldn’t have imagined a better place to raise their children. “Now that we have kids here, it’s even more meaningful to me to leave [the community] better than we found it. It’s already night and day different than when I first came here. The growth throughout the community and the families who are involved are just phenomenal people. Some of the best people I know we’ve met in Excelsior,” said Jessica. “It’s an exciting time in my opinion. There’s so much energy around the town that we just want to try to be a mall part of that, anything we can do to help and promote and continue that growth,” added Jeff.
As teachers they say they love to see young people returning to Excelsior Springs, making an impact in the workforce, and contributing to the community. “There are a number of teachers that are just bringing that energy right back into the community, which is outstanding,” said Jessica. The couple said they strive to follow in the footsteps of legendary Excelsorites such as Sherrie Branson-Hut, Terri Irons, and Jesse and Susan Hall. “Seeing the impact that people like that is really inspiring, we want to try to have a small impression, if it’s anywhere near what they’ve had then that would be, quite an accomplishment for us,” said Jeff. “Even just a sliver of that success makes it all worthwhile,” added Jessica. Considering their contributions to the community so far, the Meyers are well on their way to leaving a lasting legacy.
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