Married to: Matthew Kingery
SOY Location: Beale AFB
Years as Milspouse: 18
Areas of Focus:
Jana Kingery does not let anything hold her back from succeeding in life: not 3 deployments or 8 PCS moves, the struggle of moving her teaching job from state to state and starting over in new schools or that she has done all this despite being born with Congenital Progressive hearing loss. She is also 100% dedicated to her Air Force community.
Jana understands the struggles that military spouses and military families make because she has experienced them herself. However, she never lets that stop her and always adopts a positive, take charge and compassionate attitude. Teaching has always been Jana’s passion. She married her high school sweetheart and went on to graduate with honors and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Secondary Biology and English. Since that time, Jana has taught in 7 schools, and when she wasn’t teaching, she was volunteering in her local school community. Every time she has to PCS to a different duty station, she not only has the tearful task of saying goodbye to the students she’s grown to love, but she also has to say ‘goodbye’ to some of her teacher’s retirement benefits. Jana is concerned about the continuity of spousal employment and the transfer of the corresponding wages from retirement from state to state. Despite the fact that she has dedicated over ten years to teaching, she has less than half of that counting towards her retirement. Jana knows that many military spouses face the same circumstances in their professional field.
Jana has not only succeeded in her professional life despite the obstacles of the military lifestyle, she has been devoted to every community where she lives. It is not surprise that she is a two time Joan Orr Award Air Force Spouse Recipient, a Key Spouse leader, or that she founded the Team Lone Tree Volunteers program in 2011, which has grown exponentially each year to the point where 90% of school population volunteers for school functions. She is overwhelmingly dedicated to military children as evidenced by the numerous fundraisers she has spearheaded, from tutoring students K-12 to donating books to the Janada Batchelor Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to alleviating extreme poverty in East Africa. She has been instrumental in creating scholarships funds to help send children to a week-long science camp. And, as a Key Spouse liaison, she manages the calendar of events and activities for over 148 military families. These are just a few of the many, many programs Jana has created and supported over the years.
In 2015, Jana not only wants to bring the issues of career portability and the improvement of military children’s communities to center stage, but she also wants to help encourage spouses to be present and involved in their military communities. A self-described “local person,” Jana has always jumped right into the opportunities presented at every base in order to make it feel more like ‘home.’ She also understands that it might be difficult to find your way on a new base, and so Jana hopes to help create an encouraging environment for her fellow spouses by offering support, sharing her story, and highlighting opportunities for involvement.
In Her Own Words:
“I challenge and encourage other Air Force spouses to be present and get involved to help foster a sense of family at each new assignment. I will also continue to advocate for military children to be part of a ‘complete’ community of support by creating and participating in programs to ensure kids succeed and excel at each of their new locations through local schools, youth programs (on and off base), and the military installation. Always be present…in your own life, in your family’s life, and in your military community! ”