PHOTO: Davis High alumna Stephanie Thayer is a paraeducator at Patwin Elementary School.
By Devon Morris,
Stephanie Thayer, a paraeducator at Patwin Elementary School, teaches reading, writing and math to kids at the school with special needs.
Thayer’s always had a drive towards helping others. Back before she graduated in 2001, Thayer was a peer helper, health advocate and one of the founders of the Davis High dance team. She was also an unofficial artist for the promotional posters by Student Government.
In college, Thayer struggled to find her major, and ended up switching it five times. After studying at UC Santa Barbara for a while on a scholarship for soccer, she moved back to Davis and majored in Native American Studies with a focus on Central America.
She strongly believes in seeing new parts of the world and exploring it and yourself before putting yourself into college or a job that’ll prevent you from learning more.
“Travel. Just to see the world and get to know yourself better and get a little bit more perspective,” Thayer said.
Throughout college she worked part-time in a nursery school, which was one of her first introductions to helping others learn. When she wanted to teach more on the academic side, she looked online for paraeducator spots at schools near her.
Thayer loves working with the kids around Davis, and even keeps a journal of all the funny things they tell her about, including one student who proposed to her.
Her biggest challenge, however, is that her job doesn’t pay enough for her to make a living off of it. “It’s a wonderful job, I would do it forever if I could make twice as much as I do,” Thayer said.