Jani V. Giaquinto
Hi! I am a first grade teacher in the Winona Area Catholic Schools. The children call me Mrs. Giaquinto or Mrs. Gia for short. I am very happy to have this opportunity to share with you my educational background and my teaching experience.
I was born in Winona, Minnesota and attended St. Stan’s School, grades K - 8. I also attended Cotter High School in Winona. I attended Winona State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree. I majored in Elementary Education, minored in Spanish and had a broad field in Library Science. After I graduated, I took graduate classes in reading and learning disabilities during the summers.
My first teaching job was at a Catholic school in Chicago, Illinois. I taught second grade and had 40 Caucasian and Hispanic American students. One student spoke only Spanish. My classroom was completely self contained. In addition to teaching the second grade curriculum, I prepared the students for their First Holy Communion. I was also responsible for teaching music, art and physical education to my second graders. One afternoon a week my students were dismissed early and I taught fourth grade students from a public school in the area, preparing them for their First Holy Communion.
The following year I was married and we moved to Manatee County in Florida, which is on the Gulf of Mexico. I taught at Palmetto Elementary School. Manatee County bused all the students in each particular grade to one particular school in the county. All the sixth grade students in Manatee County were housed at my school campus. Kindergarten and first grade students from the neighborhood also attended Palmetto Elementary School. It was felt that they were too young to be bused around the county so they were able to walk to the school in their own neighborhood. I taught African American and Hispanic American children in an all day Kindergarten Program for two years.
We then moved back to Winona. I taught SLBP (Special Learning and Behavioral Problems) in the Winona Public Schools for three years. I taught third through sixth grade students one on one and/or in small group lessons.
We then decided that I would be a stay at home mom with our four children for a while. Our children attended WACS and Cotter High School.
I eased back into teaching when our youngest was four years old. I taught preschool religion at St. Stan’s, worked at the ECFE (Early Childhood/ Family Education) Program in Winona, taught preschool classes for Community Education in Winona and Rollingstone and substitute taught in the Winona Public Schools and at St. Stan’s.
I then became a classroom teacher in WACS teaching kindergarten, second grade and primarily first grade. I have been teaching with WACS for 27 years.
I feel that being a teacher in the Christian Community of WACS is a blessing! It is a gift to have these children of God to teach and to love. And oh how how much I learn from them and their families! This is such a significant part of who I am. And I am happy!
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