When Joy Annas left her secure life as an elementary school teacher and local resident to move to New Hampshire and take care of her mother, she knew her life would never be the same. When she decided to return to Pennsylvania to be closer to her children, her path became difficult. The reality of finding another teaching position at her age was an issue. She had sold her home when she left to care for her mom. Unemployed and living with friends, she struggled with juggling several part time jobs. Her only constant seemed to be her strong ties to her church and family.
A member of Souderton Mennonite Church, the staff and congregation were aware of her situation. Pastor Sandy Drescher-Lehman, who recognized Joy’s experience and passion for teaching, suggested that she contact Keystone Opportunity about a possible teaching position. In 2012 she joined the Adult Education department teaching one English as a Second Language class. She added a summer GED class to her schedule and started the 2013-14 school teaching three classes, then added the Tutor Coordinator role this fall. Not only has her work at Keystone helped her life transition, but she is helping others along their journey as well.
Her elementary teaching experience immediately translated to her adult students, as many of their language and reading skills are at the beginner level. One blessing she sees with the adults is that they are motivated to learn and want to be in the classroom. She sees remarkable persistence and progress with the serious students. “I just love coming to class everyday—it’s always an adventure!” she laughs.
As Tutor Coordinator, Joy is always looking for volunteers who share her love of teaching and have the right blend of patience and understanding which is essential to a good tutor match. Volunteers are needed to tutor Reading, Math and English Language. Interested community members may contact Joy at 215-723-5430x 128.