Joan Broadwater Reading Specialist for St. Stan's School


Greetings from one of the “veteran” teachers of the WACS group! That is a nice way of saying I’ve been around for a long time. I found a great place to work 33 years ago and have been there ever since!

Here is how I got there: Originally from Harmony Minnesota, (home of the Niagara Cave, and yes, I really was a tour guide there), I graduated from Harmony High School. I continued my education at Winona State University and graduated with a B.S. degree in education for grades K – 6. Before joining the WACS family, I worked at Winona Early Childhood Family Education, Montessori School of Winona and at St. Mary’s University as an adjunct professor and supervisor of student teachers. I taught preschool at St. Mary's Primary School for 12 years. During this time, I started tutoring some of our first grade students. I loved helping our young students find strategies to improve their reading skills. This experience led me to a change in my teaching career that I have been thrilled with. I began my graduate work in reading at the University of LaCrosse. I finished my graduate work at St. Mary's University and received my Masters Degree in Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in reading.

My personal journey: I married my high school sweetheart and best friend, John Broadwater. He is the Director of Operations  at Cotter High School. We recently celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. We have been blessed with three children - Heather (Broadwater) McCornack, Angela (Broadwater) Norton, and Michael. We are members of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Winona. Our children all completed the WACS and Cotter School systems, so I can tell you first hand that it is a wonderful place for children to learn and grow! My hobbies include visiting and exploring our National Parks, reading, listening to music, walking, biking, boating, canoeing, and spending time with my grandchildren, Jackson, Andrew, Dillon, Marie and Caroline.

I recently found this quote by W B Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” It is my hope that by helping our young and emerging readers, I can instill in them a passion for learning and help them become confident readers and successful students.