Teresa Jayroe (Faculty)

Teresa Jayroe sitting on a bench with the Drill Field in the background.

When she first stepped foot on the Mississippi State campus in the early 1980s, Teresa Jayroe had no idea of the legacy she would carve at the university.

After graduating summa cum laude in 1983, she would return to the College of Education some years later to become a rising faculty member, then director of the Office of Clinical Field-Based Instruction, and now its associate dean.

Jayroe said she always wanted to become a teacher. After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education, she taught for 12 years at public schools in Philadelphia and Winston County.

She became an MSU faculty member after beginning work on an education specialist degree in educational leadership, and then a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. She first spent time as a classroom instructor, was promoted to directing and organizing senior-block classes for elementary education majors and eventually became part of the COE administration.

Along the way, Jayroe served as the principal investigator for the Dillard’s Reading, Enrichment, Arts, Mathematics and Science after-school and summer enrichment grant program.

A partnership between the COE and the Louisville Municipal School District, DREAMS was a memorial to the late Susan Gregory Dillard, an MSU alumna and longtime Louisville public school teacher who was instrumental in securing its initial funding from the Mississippi Legislature. Designed to help students in rural kindergarten-fourth grades, it supported extra enrichment activities in reading and mathematics.

“Teachers made a difference in my life, and those teachers came from all different walks of life,” Jayroe said, in explaining her lifetime commitment.

Asked what she hopes today’s MSU education majors will take away from their time on campus, she replied: “My hope is that our students continue to learn and continue making a difference, no matter where they go.”