Title: Freelance Writer
Location: Langley, Washington, United States
Jo Meador, Freelance Writer, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educator for dedication, achievements, and leadership in writing.
With a strong foundation of arts and writing, Ms. Meador has built a successful career spanning more than 50 years across three major fields of endeavor: education, communication, and technology. One continual argument in education is whether schools need to focus solely on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and leave Art and Humanities out of the discussion. It is questioned whether one set of skills will provide meaningful work values for graduates entering the workforce. Ms. Meador’s life experiences have answered this unequivocally that greater success and more rewarding work will come to the students that learn to bridge both worlds.
Ms. Meador has developed a harmonious balance of skills and aptitudes from her youth that have enabled her to easily cross the boundary between conceptual and linear tasks in later endeavors. An early attachment to writing led her to expand reading far beyond the books provided at school, building her communication skills, and providing a creative outlet. When she was kept at home recuperating from a broken ankle, she began to write in a diary. At this time, she received an artists’ set, which awakened an interest in visual arts, and was a key to further developing her skills of observation and perspective. Since birth, against a backdrop of pop and jazz recordings, music was an integral part of daily life, and at nine she wanted to participate, taking the band class offered in grade school. These efforts occupying her early school years carried her through the first two years of college, where she earned an Associate of Arts degree in Music, in which she held the most course hours in music.
A foundation of arts and writing proved to be a critical asset for Ms. Meador’s impending future. Without conscious design, her early choices had built an aptitude which allowed easy transition between conceptual and detailed thought spaces, for her to easily shift from deduction of detail supporting larger ideas, to induction of overview concepts from articles to scattered bits of detail.
Aiming for a bachelor’s degree in English and a secondary teaching credential, Ms. Meador lacked funding beyond two years. In a three-year gap in education, she worked a variety of clerical jobs, while attending night school and performing music in community groups. To Ms. Meador a skill-learned is a skill-never-lost; so many of these clerical tasks embedded into her memory later emerged as resources in applications or data models she designed for business computing.
During the struggle to find her future self, Ms. Meador identified learning distinctions between topics to satisfy a desire to grow, and topics necessary for academic requirements. Setting out a plan that included both paths, she began to define her knowledge base, and plot a lifelong pursuit of continuing education. Her plan included self-study from books and writing, individual classes for personal development or for college requirements, academic curricula for degrees and credentials, corporate training programs, national conferences for standards, and later, writing conferences and programs for shifting her focus to creative work.
Along the way, she found many allies and mentors who generously guided her, and she was able to share new knowledge from her studies and her insights with others in classes and in workgroups. She also ingested lessons from detractors and challengers who provoked intense self-examination, “lessons learned,” which became fodder for her personal reflections and sometimes content for articles to enlighten others.
With a teaching degree in English and music, she found jobs in secondary education. In a time when there were too many applicants for too few jobs, Ms. Meador decided to take a risk and return to the corporate world, now armed with a degree. With further course work in computing, she was offered a position in a “data processing” training program, which turned out to be her entry into computing technology and banking. Here she met success through skills gained in managing classrooms, breaking down curricula into lessons and tasks, and speaking to varying groups of people about a variety of subjects.
From job to job, company to company as described in her profile, she expanded her knowledge of technology, business acumen, and corporate strategies across many different organizations—especially banking, telecommunications, and aerospace.
Upon retirement from her corporate positions, she then embarked on a creative path of writing fiction and teaching students and adults how to foster their own dreams of writing. She aspires to continue teaching classes and workshops when the pandemic (COVID-19) ends. Meanwhile, she continues to write episodes for her memoir, is working on a new novel, and building the market for her first novel.
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