Jesi Earley of Fish Haven is the new seventh grade Life Science teacher at Bear Lake Middle School. She is also the new Cheer Coach at Bear Lake High School, taking the place of Paul Etcheverry who recently resigned.
According to Mrs. Earley, Life Science is all the studies of the cells, the human body, chemical reactions, how we impact the environment, how life affects the environment, and how life affects us.
She says growing up on a ranch and farm, she loved being out in the dirt digging into things, finding out how things work, finding out how the human body works, and this gave her an interest in life science.
Mrs. Earley grew up in Baker City, Oregon, with two brothers and three sisters. They lived on a dairy farm, and they also did ranching for a period of time, which involved moving cows. They were a very active family; they loved to water ski and hike, and in Oregon hunting for mushrooms is very popular, which they did as well. She also played a lot of sports.
She graduated from Baker High School in 1995, after which she attended Utah State University in Logan. While there she cheered full time for the school.
Mrs. Earley then served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Sydney South Australia Mission. After her mission, she returned and graduated from Utah State with a degree in Agricultural Science and also taught Shop as an Ag teacher.
She then taught Ag and coached cheer at West Side in Idaho, which is by Dayton. From there she went on to Penn State where her husband finished getting his Masters and Ph.D. in Agriculture/Landscape Habitat.
Mrs. Earley met her husband, Brent, at school as he was one of her professors. He was born and raised in Laketown. They were married in 2000, and they have three children: Modoc (16), Titan (14), and Stella (12). The two boys are both attending Bear Lake High and are involved in football playing offensive/defensive and are also interested in wrestling and golf. Stella is attending Bear Lake Middle School and does cheer and dance/gymnastics. Brent works for himself as he owns a landscape/architect business doing work all over the country, and especially in Utah.
They moved here to Bear Lake because Mrs. Earley got the position here as a teacher and the position as a cheer coach due to Mr. Etcheverry’s resignation. She says Mr. Etcheverry has been an amazing mentor and help to her.
Mrs. Earley is a very “hands on” teacher. That’s the way she feels she is the best teacher. She is a firm believer science should be hands on. Cells shouldn’t be learned about on Google. You should dissect that frog, learn from organs on a dead elk or a dead goose. You shouldn’t read about it from a textbook. She believes in doing a lab two times a week, pulling things apart and making things explode. She believes in finding out what happens now and what happens next. She says you need to find a problem and how you are going to solve it. She will be doing a lot of “hands on” activities. She says the kids are responding so far and are so happy to be back without COVID and actually seeing each other and talking with each other. She is excited to throw some fun science on top of that, and they are happy to be involved.
As far as new procedures and the COVID situation, they are being way more careful about sanitizing in the classrooms and labs. As soon as they are finished with a microscope, they wipe it down. They disinfect every chair. They have assigned seating and assigned lab partners, and they can’t change up partners. They have to know who each student is with in each instance. They have to know who has touched what and disinfect it.
Mrs. Earley says she hopes things won’t escalate with COVID, and she doesn’t feel it will. She says, “I feel like maybe we’ve learned the difference between what a cold is and what COVID is. A lot of the kids in the high school got a cold and wouldn’t go get tested for it. Throw in some common sense. Wash your hands. I hope we can find ways to stay in school and not shut down. That is not an option. The kids are behind in taking social cues from adults and each other. Those social cues are so important for kids to have, those rules and manners the rest of their life, not just in my science class.”
She also said wearing masks can’t hurt, but it won’t solve everything. She said if that’s what she needs to do as a teacher and leader, yes, she will do it because she appreciates school and values in-person teaching and learning. Those kinds of things taught young are important. She says, “If I have to wear a mask and be uncomfortable, I will do that. I don’t think it will stop COVID, but if it will slow it down and keep us in school, awesome!”
She went on to say, “After COVID last year, I was helping out at Rich, substituting, and I saw some teachers go above and beyond. I want to be that teacher. They would send bags of things home to do. I want to send bags with this and this in it. If it comes to it, I will send a frog home and hope the parents have some scissors. I want them [the kids] to go out and experience life and experience things. Things are not as simple as clicking a button on a computer. There are things outside of a computer.”
She concluded by saying, “I’m excited. I’ve been amazed at the community support. It’s always hard to take over a program that has been run so smoothly. The community has been amazing. When you take over for a legend such as Paul Etcheverry, those are big shoes to fill. I’m grateful for the support. I get to do it my way, and I’m just blown away that I’m not being judged and that’s an awesome feeling. It’s been refreshing and awesome. I didn’t even marry a local, I’m definitely an outsider, and they’ve been great.”
We wish Mrs. Earley the best. She is a real go-getter and gets things done. She is going to do a great job for the kids in both the Middle School and the High School. We expect the kids will learn a great deal from both her life science, and her life experience.