Brandman News

Mother inspires daughter, both change careers to teaching

May 07, 2015 by Gustav Deutsch

Jeanne Morgan had a successful career as a chemist but decided to become a stay-at-home mom for her two children. Eventually, after tutoring children in chemistry she decided to become a high school chemistry teacher and attended Brandman University in Walnut Creek to earn her teaching credential. Daughter Alyssa, who just completed a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, was inspired by her mom to pursue a career in teaching as well. Today they are both teachers at Dublin High School and they share their story with Brandman News in the story below. Happy Mother’s Day!


Vice Chancellor of Communications Joe Cockrell: In celebration of Mother’s Day, Brandman News brings you the story of this mother-daughter team we met at the Walnut Creek campus.

Jeanne Morgan: I have a Bachelor’s of Science degree in chemistry and so I worked in industry and then stayed home with my kids for a while and then tutored kids in chemistry and some of the kids I tutored said you should be a tutor and so I looked around at different programs and I liked the programs that Brandman had.

JC: Jeanne’s experience at Brandman and her newfound passion for teaching in turn inspired her daughter Alyssa.

Alyssa Morgan: I initially wanted to go into physical therapy. Getting into graduate school is a lot more difficult. And she told me, she said you’re great with kids. Why don’t you try subbing? We have somebody who’s going out on maternity leave. I tried it last year, fell in love with it and my fellow teachers said, “Do you want to come back next year?” And so I’m teaching and Brandman offers me the flexibility of going to school at night and teaching during the day and continue to get my credential.

It was a big decision, just throughout my life she’s always been a teacher for us. She’s always been patient and she’s just showed me that there are different ways to learn and to look at learning. I’ve struggled with some obstacles in my own life for learning. Both she and my dad have been patient with me about my learning. And I kind of wanted to give it back to kids because I feel like there’s so much more stress now and so much higher expectations. Learnings not just reading out of a book.

JM: One of the things I have when I teach my kids, I say, you’re going to go to college. You’re going to go to college somewhere. It may not be your first choice, but you are going to go college. And just be the best you can while you’re there.

AM: People wonder how is it working with your mom and I’m like, oh I love it. Really, because honestly I can go to her if I have questions. But I think it has a lot to do with how she raised me and our relationship from when I was little and growing up. And don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Is that your mom then? Go ask Mom. And the kids love it, they love the fact that they could have me their freshman year, then have my mom their sophomore year and then come back to me their junior year or senior year. You know, it’s just an awesome thing, I think.

JC: Today they are both teachers at Dublin High School. Jeanne has decided to return to Brandman to earn her master’s degree, which, of course, inspired Alyssa to do the same. We would like to thank the Morgans for talking with us at the Walnut Creek campus. And Happy Mother’s Day

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