The Rocket Flame

New Experiences and Changing Lives

JBHS Ag Teacher, Ms. Brittany May, is changing lives with her appearance on the Today show


Ms. May outside of NBC studios.

She has been an inspiration to a school, a community, a state, and now to a nation.  Her life changing transformation has shown millions that it is possible to change the course of your life.  Ms. Brittany May (Faculty) had once weighed over 500 pounds, but after taking her life into her own hands, she has lost almost 300 pounds.  Her perseverance has been seen all over the nation through her appearance on the Today Show.


“It was such a surreal experience being able to share my experience on a national platform,” said May.


On May 3, 2018, May was a guest star on Megyn Kelly Today.  She was part of the “Mind and Body” special that morning.  May, along with her mother, discussed the

the dedication and determination that she has had to have to make it to the point she is at now.  Megyn Kelly, amazed at May’s courage, asked her questions about her life as a teen, the journey she has taken, and the plans for her future.

“I keep getting messages from people telling me how I have touched them,” May said, “My heart is beyond full.”

She has given many people the courage and determination that they have needed to change their lives.  As others change their life, May continues to change hers.

May said, “I joined a gym three weeks ago because its fun.”

Along with her healthy habits she has learned, she is trying new things.  May started off her journey being stubborn, but as she kept moving forward she realized that she could not be afraid to try new things.  She now has become a coach of her weight loss program, Optavia. May guides her clients through their journey by touching base every day for the first week and then weekly from there on out.  She continues to chat with her coach on a weekly basis about her healthy habits and things she can do to continue to improve her life.

“For the first time in my entire life, this summer I won’t be thinking about losing weight or being in the process of losing weight,” May said.

Her weight loss has allowed May to have more energy and do an increasing amount of hands on activities in the classroom.  She has been learning a lot from her experiences that she is able to bring back to the classroom to her give her students the best education she can.


May said, “I can’t wait to see what I will do and accomplish next year at this time.”


May plans to continue Optavia and be there to support her clients through their ups and downs.  She also plans to continue teaching using the knowledge that she continues to gain from her new experiences her transformation has allowed.

Inspirational Individual

The tremendous results of taking your life into your own hands


Kirstyn Black

May proudly displays the outcome of new lifestyle.

A teacher at James Buchanan High School has a life-changing story to share.  Her weight loss has transformed her life.  She is now less than half the person she used to be.  

The agriculture teacher Ms. Brittany May (Faculty), has taken her life under control.  On June 27, 2016 she decided to make a change in her life.

“I had found my dream job.  I got to teach agriculture in a community that I know and I love, but I was the limiting factor for my students,” May said.

May wanted to give her students the best experience in the JB agriculture program as possible, but she felt that she couldn’t until she made some changes.  She was unable to participate in certain activities and had to cancel others.  

“They were suffering because I couldn’t give them my 100%,” May said, “That wasn’t ok with me.”

Now, nearly a year and a half later, she is able to give her best to her students. Through hard work, support, and dedication she has changed her life.

“My students are my biggest cheerleaders,” May said.  “I would have never expected to have that connection in the classroom.”

The people in her life help to encourage her when she needs support to continue her new lifestyle. Her life has had many changes, but it hasn’t been easy or fast.

“Small habit changes over the course of time because small changes, instead of a complete overhaul, that’s what’s sustainable,” said May, “Making sure I’m taking care of myself: things like drinking more water, getting more sleep, parking farther away, or using a basket instead of a shopping cart at the grocery store.”

These are just some of the many things that May has changed in her life.  May is part of a group called Optavia. Optavia provides her with many supporters and plays a very big role in her life.  

“The program is called Optavia [and] It’s four parts. I have a health coach, I have a community of people who are doing the exact same thing I’m doing; sometimes I’m their support, sometimes they’re my support,” May said, “I have the learning of the healthy habits along the way and then just the nutritional information.”

Through hard times and small victories May has changed her life in many ways.  She continues to share her story with others as she keeps working to make herself the person she wants to be.

Want to Know How to Save a Life?

One donation saves three lives.


Kirstyn Black

Michael Newman has his arm in the air awaiting the final steps of the blood donation process.

It’s the morning of the first day you donate.  The doors open and a cold draft runs over your body and nerves take over.  As you scan the room you see students and teachers waiting in line to get blood drawn.  Friends lay on the Red Cross tables with arms in the air, while others wait for the process to begin.  Familiar voices fill the air as some have friends with them for support as the volunteers begin.

Possibly the scariest, but most rewarding donation to give.  Your blood.  Needles, tubes, bags, and

iodine in abundance on the stage of the James Buchanan High School on Thursday, Sept. 21 as a Red Cross blood drive was hosted by the JB FFA chapter in the auditorium last week.

The FFA motto seems to stand for many of the students and staff at the high school. “Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve,” said Ella Heckman, 10, FFA Reporter.

The exceptional turnout, yet again this year, has proven the servant-hearted community that surrounds the school.

When asked the question if Ms. Brittany May donated blood she said, “I give blood as often as I can. Thursday was actually my 15th donation!”

Items that are a must have to donate blood.

Each donation saves three lives.  Together the community helped save 69 lives on Thursday during the FFA’s first blood drive of three to be held this year.  The next blood drives will be in the winter and the spring.  

“It is quite rewarding to see students and teachers take time out of their busy schedules to help others in need,” said May.

The blood drive serves more than just one purpose.  There is a scholarship that the relies on the success of the blood drive.

“The scholarship is based on the number of units donated throughout the year,” says May, “We are already about halfway to our goal of units donated this year to reach the first tier of scholarships.”

If there are more than enough units donated for the first scholarship, there could potentially be two.  This scholarship is offered to any senior that is currently active in the Community Service Committee, which is the committee that offers the scholarship.

“FFA is full of amazing opportunities to help people. The blood drive is so easy and rewarding because all it takes is a pint of blood to save somebody’s life!” said Heckman.

The James Buchanan High School FFA chapter prides themselves as being community based and willing to serve.  The annual blood drive is a great way to keep that reputation alive.

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Brittany May