Jon Markus grew up in Rock Rapids, “a small town a stone’s throw away from South Dakota and Minnesota.”
As a kid, Markus was very interested in the world he lived in, and this interest led him to his love of science. At first he looked into careers involving meteorology, aeronautics and astronomy but decided he didn’t want to limit himself to one area of study.
Markus graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and has taken graduate courses in educational leadership through Viterbo University. Although teaching at ADM was his first full-time teaching job, he spent several months as a substitute.
Now in his third year of teaching sixth grade Earth and Space Science, a typical day for Markus is a busy one. He arrives at school around 7:30 a.m. to finish any lesson plans and prepare for the day. In his classes, his students are at work with various labs and textbook work. Markus thinks it is important to keep a balance between the two and feels his students must learn first from the textbook and then apply that knowledge in their labs. After the school day ends, he either prepares for the next day or heads out to coach middle school basketball or track.
Free time for Markus is spent participating in all sorts of activities. He enjoys the outdoors and even likes to challenge himself with “extreme” sports, such as snowboarding, waterskiing and wake surfing. He also spends his free time volunteering. This summer, he worked with a Boy Scout troop to help get their science merit badges and also delivered and organized furniture for a thrift store in his hometown. Markus lives with his wife, Dani, who is a pharmacist at OutcomesMTM, and they have one cat, Maeby, who “is as much of a kid as we need right now.”
Markus says what he gains personally from his job is always being pushed to learn and to accomplish.
“I feel like this profession constantly keeps me challenged, which brings out the best I have to offer,” he says. Although he loves teaching his subject, Markus enjoys the relationships he builds with his students and says they are not only what make him enjoy his job, but they also the reason he comes to school every day.