Jessi Deane started practicing karate with MTA in Fall of 2001 when she was in the fifth grade. Although she would move to Maryland at the end of her freshman year of high school, she continued to train with Master Garris and the MTA Karate Academy via an “independent study.” Through the support of her parents, she practiced independently in both their own home (often invading the basement or parents’ bedroom in order to make use of the open spaces) and, later, her community gym. Once a month, her mother would drive her down to Fayetteville in order to train specifically with Master Garris. In May of 2009, her senior year of high school, Jessi was promoted to the rank of black belt.
Jessi completed her undergraduate education at Salisbury University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History: Secondary Education in May of 2013. While attending Salisbury University, she began a branch of the MTA Karate Academy (MTA of SU) that was specifically geared towards a college audience. At its peak, this organization had 15 students and is still running today. Currently, it is under the leadership of Chris De Bow and John ‘Fritz’ Plinke, two Salisbury Students who have earned the rank of red belt.
Jessi is currently attending the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she is working towards her Masters of Arts in History. She is currently engaged to be married in April 2015 to Johnny Pantazis, a former student of the MTA of SU Karate Academy. Overall, Jessi’s goal is to teach history at a secondary level (middle or high school), while maintaining a teaching branch of MTA Karate Academy wherever she ends up.