McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 30, 2013

McAlester grad returns to take survey

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A McAlester High School alumnus now living and studying Germany returned recently to complete her dissertation by surveying area teachers.

Jamie Johnson Taxer, 27, graduated McAlester High School in 2003 with honors, attended Oklahoma State University, majored in psychology and graduated with honors.

She is the daughter of Donna Green and Harold “Butch” Johnson of McAlester.

While at OSU Taxer said she met and married Thomas Taxer, an engineering student from Austria.

The couple moved to Germany where she is completing her doctorate at the University of Munich.

Earlier this month, for research project to complete her dissertation for a doctorate degree in Educational Psychology, Johnson sent out surveys to teachers at every school in McAlester as well as schools in Tulsa, Jenks, Pauls Valley, Ada, Del City, Haileyville, Hartshorne, Savanna, Frink and others.

It is large project that she said took months of preparation.

“Its a paper and pencil survey mostly about their anger anxiety, enthusiasm and just general emotions they have every day as teachers,” Johnson said.

She’s said she received all the surveys sent out to Edmond Doyle where she attended elementary school but she’s still waiting on the results from the other schools to complete her work.

She said the results of the survey will be used to help develop training for teachers to help them understand and cope with their emotions while performing their jobs.

Taxer said relocating from McAlester to Germany was a challenge but she is now fluent in the language.

 “I really like living there,” Taxer said.

“I took an intensive eight-month course to learn the language” she said. “It was very difficult.”

She said her husband received his doctorate last year and the two of them went backpacking in India to celebrate his success. And she said they are planning to visit South America when she gets her doctorate next year.

Taxer although she likes living in Germany she said misses her family in McAlester and flies home to visit once a year.

 She said she also misses chocolate chip cookies.

“They don’t have chocolate chips in Germany so I try to take a few bags home with me when I visit.”

Meanwhile Taxer’s fourth grade teacher, Kathy Hunt is a teacher at Edmond Doyle

“We were all excited to be a part of this important research,” she said.

Hunt said she is proud of the work Johnson is doing.

“She is remarkable,” Hunt said. “Jamie is just one of the many reasons why I love my job,” Hunt said.

“How wonderful to know that all of her McAlester Public School teachers played a role in helping her get to where she is today.”

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.