LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Joy Collier

Position: Math Teacher
School: East Jackson Secondary School
School District: East Jackson Community Schools
City, State: Jackson, MI

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Joy Collier was nominated by Kary Swiontek, the parent of two students.

Mrs. Collier is a Life Changer for all of her students. She is someone who goes above and beyond a traditional classroom teacher. Throughout the school year, Mrs. Collier keeps in touch with her students on a weekly and sometimes daily basis through Remind. When the state closed in March, she sent out Reminds to the students to make sure they were okay and that they didn't need anything. She also made time for them to connect with her through Zoom on a daily basis, if it was needed.

Mrs. Collier is the type of teacher who does not stress so much about the student's grades, but is more concerned about whether or not the students have retained and are able to apply the information she taught in class. This year, her school has some students learning in-person, and others who are learning remotely. Every day, she teaches the students who are at school in-person and creates videos for the students who are remote. Every evening, she sets up a 7-8 PM Zoom session for all of her students so that they can get on there for extra help, ask questions, or share information with her and their peers. She even provides Zoom sessions for the students on Saturdays and Sundays. She goes above and beyond!

Mrs. Collier is the teacher you can approach to ask for help, share information, or even ask for more time. As long as she sees you are asking questions and working hard on the assignment, she will give you extra time to finish it. She has even offered the students an opportunity to redo assignments to increase their accuracy of the skills they are practicing.

"Classes like pre-calc and calculus can be very stressful. Both of my kids have never stressed with those classes because they feel comfortable asking Mrs. Collier questions and sharing information with her," said Swiontek. "She has always been the 'approachable' teacher."

"My oldest is a junior in college, and he shared with me the other day that Mrs. Collier will still send his class a message on Remind from time to time," said Swiontek. "She will send them a funny math meme or a crazy math problem for them to try. She stays connected with all of her students, and she wants the best for them. Mrs. Collier will reach out to see how they are doing in college and provide support for their college math. Most teachers close the door on students when they graduate from high school. Not her. She follows them through college and encourages them to keep doing their best so that they can be successful in life."

"As parents, we've shared with Mrs. Collier how exceptional she is and how appreciative we are of her. If she were to win this award, it would only validate what we have been telling her over the years," said Swiontek.


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Comments (32)


Traci wyers Posted 3 days ago

So well deserved!! Your an amazing teacher and work so hard at making learning important to all!!

Paige Leach Posted 3 days ago

Mrs. Collier could not be more deserving of this award. She cares about her students during and after hours. She was always just a text away if anyone needed additional help, and she would help without hesitation even if she wasn’t feeling well. She has been the best teacher, leader, and mentor I have ever had. She has changed my life and showed me what I am truly capable of, and to never doubt myself.

Julie Risner Posted 5 days ago

Well deserved Joy, you’ve been such a caring and dedicated teacher for the 20 years I’ve known you and my kids were blessed to have you as their teacher.

Julie Durocher Posted 5 days ago

Joy is one of the most dedicated educators I know. She cares deeply for her students and their education. She gives 110% to her job. I have heard many students over the years say Mrs. Collier was their favorite teacher. Congratulations Joy! So well deserved! ??

Andrea Boyce Posted 5 days ago

I was a graduate of EJ in 2001. I fondly remember my senior year I would come early to school ( really who does that ?!?) just to sit and talk to Mrs Collier before 1st hour when the rest of my class came in . Even tho it was only Consumers Math, which many students took just to get a “easy credit “, I learned so much that year and really enjoyed having her as my teacher .

Danielle lowe Posted 5 days ago

This nomination is more than warranted. Math was never an easy subject for me. But, she always took the time to explain it until I got it. She allowed me to stay after class and we would work together until it stuck. As an EJ alum, almost 15 years ago... I can say EJHS is a better place because of her. She is an angel. We love you Mrs. C. Always!

Ashley Nobert Posted 5 days ago

Mrs. Collier was one of my favorite teachers while at EJ! She always made sure that students understood what she was teaching, and was available if others needed more time. She was always trying to make math more fun, or would tell a funny story to start the day. She always cared about the students both in the class and outside! I’m so glad to have had such an amazing teacher to solidify my love of math, and that she is being nominated for such a great honor!

Brianna Murphy Posted 5 days ago

I could not name a person more deserving than Mrs. Collier. I always thought math came really easily to me, I always did well and understood all of the concepts. Then I went to college at the University of Michigan last year and took Calculus and realized that it’s not the fact that I am good at math, but that I had the most incredible teacher leading me. That was the first time I have ever struggled with math and Mrs. Collier was still there to help me when I needed it! She is someone I will keep in touch with forever because not only has she helped me in school, but also as a person in general she was a cheerleader for me in many aspects. I am all the better because I know Mrs. Collier and I know so many other students who have been just as touched as I have!

Lindsay Partee Posted 5 days ago

Mrs. Collier was one of the most relatable teachers at EJ when I attended over 20 years ago. She made syre all her students knew she cared on an individual level and never thought twice to stop and help when needed; even for those of us that needed help when we went off to college. My nephew now has her for one of his 8th grade math classes and he comented how amazed he was that she took time to help him so much and even responded to an email he sent with a question within minutes during remote learning. Over 20 years, and still the same amazing teacher.

Emily Allen Posted 5 days ago

Mrs. Collier always goes above and beyond for her students, I was able to have her for 3 years of my high school career. Even battling her health/back issues, she was always there and always putting students and work first. I took just a few math courses in college and I used some of the “cheat sheets” we made in her class! I have nothing but amazing things to say about her!!

Blaine Posted 5 days ago

Mrs. collier helped change my life in many ways. Such a wonderful teacher and an even better person! Well deserved nomination!

Misti Bell Posted 5 days ago

I am mom to 6 EJ students... Miss Collier is the model teacher... She is what every teacher should aspire to be. She teaches for all the right reasons and that shows in her relationships with her students and their parents. She isn't one to sugar coat, but her honesty is always done in a way to give parents and students guidance and hope. She is a true leader and has so much respect from her students. Miss Collier is also involved in student council and as a class advisor. She is well deserving of any award in my book...and I know all of children would agree!

Sammy Rebandt Posted 6 days ago

Go Joy! EJ is better because of YOU! You are so appreciated and supported!

Amanda Soltis Posted 6 days ago

She always knew how to explain things to me in a way I would understand.

Olivia Seymour Posted 6 days ago

Mrs. Collier not only cares about the education her students receive but the support and love they receive as well. She’s a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a friend to everyone.

Michaela Campbell Posted 6 days ago

Mrs. Collier is one of the best teachers at East Jackson, and still one of the best in my 15 years of schooling. Every student is special to her and she continuously goes above and beyond to ensure her students are doing well not just in her class, but throughout their lives. Her patience and kindness know no bounds. She takes the time to make sure that her students are truly learning the material she is teaching them, rather than simply stressing out about grades and deadlines. She is always accessible and willing to help anyone who needs it. During my time at EJ I spent countless hours before school, during lunch, and during free periods sitting with Mrs. Collier or in her back room working through the material in her class and she ALWAYS helped without a complaint. Sometimes it got so overwhelming I actually cried in the middle of lecture (twice actually) and she spent so much extra time helping me truly learn what she was teaching. But even outside of school, she cares about everyone. She is in tune with her students and can ALWAYS tell when something is going on and she is always the first to offer help in whatever form she can. And even now, almost three years after my graduation from EJ, I can still text her to get help with tough problems, or even just to keep in touch. She is simply amazing.

Hannah Saunders Posted 6 days ago

She is the absolute best. I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of this award!

Alexis Brzezinski Posted 6 days ago

I am a former student of Ms.Collier’s. Math never came easy to me, but Ms.Collier pushed me to always do my best. She has taken so much extra time to help myself and other students succeed. In fact, she is one of the main reasons why I decided to major in mechanical engineering in college. Ms.Collier has always been a supportive teacher and a caring leader. Outside of the classroom she was always there for her students. She has helped many through tough times and her compassion goes farther than just math. She is there for her students both educationally and emotionally. My life has personally been changed by her acts of kindness and dedication to teaching.

Audrey Seymour Posted 6 days ago

I could not think of anyone more deserving of this award than Mrs. Collier. She is an excellent teacher and always goes over and beyond for her students! Any time of the day or night- she was there to help. She would text, FaceTime/Zoom, come in early or stay late after school, give up her lunch and plan hour, just to help students on their work and areas that they were struggling in. Thanks to Mrs. Collier and her pushing me to do my best my junior and senior year, I was able to excel in my college math courses. Mrs. Collier is truly a life changer!

Marie Beckman Posted 6 days ago

I worked with Joy for many years before I retired from teaching. She does a fantastic job of breaking information down so that it is more easily understood. In the last few years of my teaching career, Joy was able to walk me through the many technology changes that I encountered. Usually, she was able to explain things so clearly to me that I was able to understand what I was supposed to do the first time through! Not only is she an excellent instructor, but she is a compassionate teacher, who wants her students to excel and go on to be successful in life as well as math.

Karen Sajdak Posted 6 days ago

She was always there for my girls and now my grandchildren. Excellent, caring teacher!!!

Amber Bunch Posted 6 days ago

When asked who my favorite teacher was, Mrs. Collier is always what I say. I can only hope my children will be touched by a great educator like Joy Collier!

Christa Buckland Posted 6 days ago

I have four children that have had Mrs.Collier as a teacher. Two have graduated and two are currently her students. She is so caring. She wants the best for her students and goes above and beyond daily to help them. I cannot think of anyone more deserving than her!

Jennifer Khan Posted 6 days ago

Mrs. Collier goes above and beyond for her students. She meets with my daughter before and after school and also hosts zoom sessions on weeknights to work with the students on homework questions. Joy absolutely deserves this award. Paris, and my children who have had her in the past, are fortunate to have had such a passionate and caring teacher.

Kassidy Blough Posted 6 days ago

I was privileged to be a student of Mrs. Collier's my freshman through senior year of high school for mathematics. As many of us know, math can be an extremely difficulty subject to understand. I was definitely nervous entering high school knowing that Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus were things that I would be expected to learn. Fortunately, Mrs. Collier was amazing in teaching in a way that everyone was able to understand and willing to answer any questions along the way. She would even give up her lunch hour to help students who needed it. Mrs. Collier was more than just my "math teacher" but someone who I was able to talk to about anything going on with school, athletics, or even life. After high school and while going through college, I was still able to message Mrs. Collier with any math questions and she was always willing to take the time and help. Now that I have graduated with a bachelor's degree and am working on my master's degree, I have and will forever apply the things she has taught to all aspects of my education. Thank you Mrs. Collier!

Amanda Campbell Posted 6 days ago

There are not enough kind words to describe Joy Collier. She has been or is currently a teacher to all 4 of my children. She is the teacher that is on the phone after hours helping kids, no matter how late it is. She is also the teacher cheering them on at their sporting events. She takes a vested interest in her students life outside of the classroom and deeply invests in their personal success. She is selfless, kind and supportive. I couldn't ask for a better teacher!

Ashley Desy Posted 6 days ago

I have really noticed how she goes above and beyond. She is so helpful for the students and really cares that they know and retain what they learn.

JuLee Baxter Posted 6 days ago

Mrs. Collier is an AMAZING teacher, co-worker, friend and person! She is always willing to lend that extra hand(or two) without even blinking. She is extremely knowledgeable(not only in math) and easily approachable. My daughter has her as a teacher and speaks very well of her and her ability to help her and other students! Keep up the great work, Mrs. Collier! And, THANK YOU!

Shelly Allard Posted 6 days ago

Having four children each have Mrs. Collier, there aren't words that can express how thankful I am that they had her for a teacher. Many times, you come across the "work sheet teacher" while your children are attending school. Mrs. Collier is not one of those teachers. My children are better adults for having her as their teacher.

Brett Hudson Posted 6 days ago

This woman is a Saint! If it were not for Mrs. Collier believing in me and investing her time into me I would have never passed high school math. I struggled with math my entire life. When I came into high school and into Mrs. Colliers geometry class I told her about my struggles. She went above and beyond for me from that day forward. As long as I put in the effort she returned it to me 10 fold. She would stay after school every single day to help me with my work. She never gave up on me even when I continued to struggle. Because of her I was able to pass and get into the college of my choice. If it were not for her I’m not sure my grades would’ve been high enough to qualify. I am where I am now because of her and I am forever grateful to her for believing in me and investing her time and effort into me.

Cassie Lagow Posted 6 days ago

I was a student of Mrs. Collier over 20 years ago and know first hand how far above and beyond she goes. Math has always been my weakness. After I left high school I attended MSU, Mrs. Collier still made her self available to help me with my math work. 20 years ago, that meant I needed to email her or call her. It wasn't as easy back then to stay connected but she still did. Her love for her students is endless.

Jenny Pelton Posted 6 days ago

I am a mom of five boys all of whom have had this teacher. She is amazing and goes so far above and beyond any expectations I have for my children’s high school education. Since March she has offered a zoom meeting with any student seven days a week. The students have so many opportunities to ask for help if needed or support and can ask her literally anything at any time day or night. She is quick to Respond and teaches her lessons in many different formats so if the student has a hard time learning one way she will figure it out and teach them another way. Please consider her for this award!