Growing up in New England, Jean C. O’Connor developed a fascination with the American history evident in so many landmarks there. Her grandmother’s house in Andover, Massachusetts, has a historic plaque by the front door; the Marquis de Lafayette made a speech from its steps when he came to visit the new United States following the Revolutionary War. Her enjoyment of history as well as literature led to a teaching career of thirty-six years in Montana, particularly in Helena, the capital. She is passionate about meaningful learning experiences for students, and about working with teachers. Her work with the state teachers’ association led to her receiving the Montana Association of Teachers of English Language Arts Distinguished Educator Award. As an educator, she received the NCTE High School Teacher of Excellence Award 2018, one of only fourteen teachers in the country. A few lines in her grandmother’s journal inspired her interest in the story that forms the basis for The Cause: The Story of James Lovell, Patriot.
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