Meet our Campus Presidents: Don and Janie Homer

January 27, 2024  •  Author: marketing

Shoulder of Giants

Even though he was one of the greatest minds to ever walk on Earth, Sir Isaac Newton was very modest in his realizations. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,” he humbly said. With these words, Newton was simply stating that without others before him, his contributions would be hollow and unaccomplished. With that sentence – “shoulders of giants” – the renowned English scientist was recognizing the giants in their own fields that came before him. They laid the foundation for his discoveries.

From 2024 to 2025, the team at Cumorah Academy will have an extraordinary couple who will use their talents and experiences to manage life on campus: Janie and Don Homer. Keep reading, and you’ll understand why they are so unique. Students will recognize that their future realizations are because they relied on the shoulders of these two giants.

Joining Cumorah Academy

Don and Janie have joined us with the intention of providing support not only to the physical structure of the campus but especially to the over 60 students per semester, in addition to staff members, mentors, and visitors. For more than 30 years, Janie and Don managed a rental property business, but their background is broader than this. Due to their teaching experience, the couple was particularly attracted to the program.

“I like the idea of the program. We are glad to be here more during the free months because we could be more part of Cumorah and have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives,” he says. Don was a teacher at high school and college, along with teaching in seminars and the Institute of Religion. Janie also has experience in teaching. And what a privilege it is for students to have them on campus! Their stories and fun facts make them iconic as if they came from a movie where the supporting characters are way cooler than the protagonist.

Just a few fun facts:

They drove 8,000 miles (nearly 12,900 kilometers) from Idaho, Utah, to El Salvador. Yes, they crossed North America to Central America, only motivated by the stories found in the ancient scripture. Not only that, they have been to more than 30 countries together. Did you see how adventurous they are? Even when they retired in 2015, they received a special assignment to teach Chinese in a program at BYU (Brigham Young University). They have 5 children (1 boy and 4 girls) and 18 grandchildren and got married on February 28, 1976. Dressed as soldiers. Yep, you read it right: soldiers. Don’t ask me why.

Adventurers, teachers, and much more

“Don and Janie are a huge example of resilience and loving-kindness. Having them on Campus is wonderful, and we can learn a lot from their experiences,” shared Daniela from Brazil. Others also felt their love while they mentored for a week. Their life impacted positively on how students view challenges and circumstances. “They are an example of a happy and successful marriage. Also, they are very nice and helpful, and I like spending time with them, especially playing chess with Don,” says Anastacia from Ukraine, our chess player. Olha, also from Ukraine, says, “They are always friendly, supportive, and with deep thoughts.” Janie and Don have this natural gift of listening carefully to others, which has impacted our students deeply.

As part of their assignment on campus, our students are to elaborate a Life Vision plan. Essentially, they need to visualize themselves 5-10 years ahead and pen on paper what accomplishments they want to achieve. As their experiences on campus unfold, they are free to update their goals and dreams with the new experiences they are discovering with mentors. Can you imagine the impact of this couple on these students? Most of them are in their early twenties. Their vision of their potential and ability will surely expand with the teachings and examples the Homers are showing.

We are lucky to have them

Teachers, travelers, adventurers, storytellers, and much more could be said about this wonderful couple who jumped into this new adventure. They are more than ready for this new chapter in their lives and the life of Cumorah Academy. From 2024 until 2025, there seems to be a long road ahead, but they will keep improving our campus and students’ lives. It takes courage to teach and let your principles guide others. For sure, when our students attain their projects in the future, they will look back on their time at Cumorah Academy and realize they have seen further because they relied on the shoulders of these two giants. To Don and Janie Homer, we say:

Welcome to Cumorah Academy!

Watch the message Don and Janie left for us:

Click here to read more about our events on campus

Written by Fernando Ferreira Jr. Supports by Delton Sambo.

Supervision: Kamila Umberto Fullmer.