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Meet our 3rd Back-to-School Surprise Finalist: Woodbury Elementary Intervention Specialist Jane Rohfeld

Posted at 1:13 PM, Sep 11, 2023

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — With school back in session across Northeast Ohio, we wanted to do something special for those teachers who continually go above and beyond in the classroom.

News 5 has partnered with Preston Kia to give one educator a new EV6 electric vehicle.

News 5 anchor Mike Brookbank caught up with our third finalist, intervention specialist Jane Rohfeld. She made a mid-life pivot to help position every child for success.

Cruising along in her career in the airline industry, Jane noticed some turbulence for children facing learning disabilities — there just didn't seem to be enough teachers to help them.

"I really felt a passion for that,” she said. So she decided to make a mid-life change.

“I am a second career teacher; I went back to school in my 40s,” she said. She went back to make sure those children with challenges don't fall through the cracks.

“If that happens in second or third grade, by sixth grade they're so far behind that it's a real challenge to get them back to where they need to be,” Jane said.

Brookbank caught up with Jane at Woodbury Elementary School in Shaker Heights, but News 5 first introduced you to the educator earlier this year, when her Kia was stolen from the parking lot of her previous school in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

“The buses came to pick up students and my car was gone,” Jane said. “It was there at 12:30 when I came back from lunch. There was a pile of glass, where my car had been."

The theft turned Jane’s world on its head, from both a logistical and financial standpoint.

Her daughter wanted to ease the sting of that experience by entering her into our News 5 Teacher Surprise Car Giveaway.

“To be nominated for this is truly humbling,” Jane said.

The submission went on to say Jane is an outstanding educator who goes above and beyond for her students.

"I was in tears, because I didn't realize what an impact I had on my own kids,” she said.

When it comes to connecting with her little learners, the secret sauce for this intervention specialist is time.

“I can't really teach these kids until I really build a strong relationship with them,” she said.

She does that by letting loose in the classroom any chance she gets.

"I'm a kid at heart. So, if you come in my classroom someday, you may see me dancing around like a fool, you may see me blowing bubbles or telling jokes or wearing funny hats,” Jane said.

She said her go-to classroom dance music is the soundtrack for “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

She it makes her feel like she's watching out for those children who need a little help on their journey.

“I get to feel like a superhero for a little bit which is really cool,” Jane said.

“So, it's like your walk-up soundtrack,” Brookbank suggested.

“It is. For sure!"

"It gets you energized."

"Yes, and the kids love it too."

Check back soon to see the last finalist selected for the Back to School Surprise, and tune in to Good Morning Cleveland at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12 to find out which of the four finalists was selected to win the 2023 Kia EV6 from Preston Kia.

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