Katie Jones is an incredible example of someone who chases her passions to the max. Not only is she my wife, but she’s also an amazing teacher, and an author of two books! Currently she is pursuing a doctorate after earning her masters degree. She has been teaching for nine years, and has always been an avid reader and writer.
When Katie was around eight she knew she wanted to be Dr. Jones someday, and as she grew up she still wanted to pursue that dream. At that point she also already knew that she wanted to be a teacher someday, thanks to an amazing teacher, Mrs. Clark, who inspired her love for reading and writing. Her bachelor’s degree is in elementary education, her master’s degree is in curriculum and instruction, and her doctorate will be an EDD with a big focus on technology integration. Through all of this education Katie believes that she has become a better researcher, and is better at creating things for her students to help them grow and learn. Personally, her education has taught her to research more and just continue to learn new things. Katie says that expanding your knowledge is an amazing way to continue living your best life. You don’t necessarily need to continue going to school to learn, you can use websites, the library, or just talking to people who know cool things.
Katie has around three to four books on her night stand every night, her favorite genre is true crime and things that involve the psychology around killers and criminals, though she swears that she isn’t crazy. Her favorite things to write are poems, short stories, and children’s books. When asked about her two favorite books of all time, there is a large gap between the two. The first one she mentioned is a fun, silly kids’ book “The Cat Ate my Gymsuit”, and the second one is Stephen King’s “Misery”. She would always write as a child as well, her teacher taught her to read already published books and try to write your own in a similar style, this is also what she teaches today. Already at a young age, along with wanting a doctorate, she also knew that she wanted to get her own book published someday. When she was eighth grade she wrote a chapter book for kids and was sending it into publishers and other places trying to see if anything would happen, unfortunately nothing happened at that time, but she knew that other published authors faced rejection after rejection and knew she wouldn’t give up.
Picture books are a huge part of teaching since children love them. As a teacher, Katie has discovered so many great picture books which lead her to create a picture book for her first published book. Children are so visually oriented that the pictures really draw the kids in and it helps the kids connect more to the story. Katie’s second book is also a picture book that is set in Neenah about a boy that moved from London to Neenah as a teenager. The inspiration for him came from a vacation that Katie and I went on to London, and we went on a tour with a very quintessential British man, but we couldn’t remember his actual name. So I guessed Nielsen Kisselfinke and the character was born. To bring the story to life, Katie’s mother made the illustrations and they are exactly how Katie imagined. The story describes the main character growing up and becoming a reader, and people make fun of the way he dresses because he dresses a little differently, but he doesn’t care, he continues to be himself, and eventually moves to Neenah. Some advice Katie would give for chasing your passions to the max is to pursue what excites you and what you’re passionate about.
To learn more about Katie you can go to her website www.katierjones.com and you can pick up both of her books from Amazon or click here: Good Night Neenah and Meet Nielsen Kisselfinke.