Primarily Math | Profiles

Jane McGill works with some of her students

Jane McGill

Primarily Math

Elementary Math Coach, Carriage Hill and G Stanley Hall Elementary Schools, Papillion-La Vista School District

As a Carriage Hill Elementary teacher, Jane McGill felt like she was just skimming the surface in most subject areas she taught.

“I had felt for a few years that I really had not become an expert in anything,” McGill said.

However, she did have a passion for math, since being involved in Papillion-La Vista Public Schools’ curriculum math team. Then, she heard about the Primarily Math program and decided it was the perfect opportunity for her to make a career change.

“When the opportunity came for Primarily Math, I was thrilled to see that there was a program that I could possibly be involved in that would help teachers become better math teachers. I wanted to learn more about math and how I could help others,” McGill said.

Ready to take on a new challenge, McGill started her first year as a math coach at Carriage Hill in August 2010. Today, she is still a coach at Carriage Hill but also coaches at G Stanley Hall Elementary.

“I have seen the positive difference that the literacy coaches have made in our district,” she said. “I truly feel that all students can be great at math. I have not always felt that I was a good math student but I do know that with purposeful teaching and having a passion for teaching, students can achieve.”

McGill’s passion came through during Ruth Heaton’s TEAC 907 class, as well as in Heaton’s leadership course in Fall 2010.

“Jane is enthusiastic and should thrive as a building math coach. She is thoughtful and insightful about mathematics teaching and learning, and her leadership skills are exceptional,” Heaton said.

McGill taught fourth grade in South Sarpy District 46 for eight and a half years and then taught third grade for 10 years with PLV before becoming a math coach. For nine years in between, she stayed home to raise her three sons, Michael, Andrew and Nathan. McGill’s husband, John, is a junior high school principal in the Papillion district. Their oldest son, Michael, plans to get his teaching certificate and teach junior high or high school.

McGill was born and raised in Lincoln, Neb., attending Lincoln Public Schools. Her parents were both elementary teachers for LPS, and she said they knew early on she would enjoy being a teacher and encouraged her to pursue a degree in education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.

“My favorite teachers were Mrs. Rolf in kindergarten and Mrs. Keene in fourth grade. Mrs. Keene told me that I always liked to organize her desk and clean the boards,” McGill said. “I love being a teacher, and I can’t imagine being in any other field.”