Pre-K and Lower Elementary

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Pre-K and Lower Elementary

Diana D’Alessio
Pre-K
First Year at CCS: 2017
Degrees: M.ED in Education and Counseling

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS WITH A STUDENT?

My favorite moments with a student are when the student says , “I love school.” When a student claims they would rather be in school than on vacation I realize the environment I am providing at school is a positive one. I want my students to feel school is their place to flourish.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO TEACH AT CHARLOTTESVILLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL?

CCS has the reputation of being a warm and inviting school where teachers implement current research-based curriculum. Kindness abounds at CCS and it is the place I want to be.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON YOU WANT MY CHILD TO LEARN IN YOUR CLASSROOM?

I hope to impart to my charges a need for us all to be accepting and respectful of each other in our pluralistic society.

Cynthia Dragich
Kindergarten
First Year at CCS: 2018
Degrees: BA in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development, Master’s in Special Education
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INTERESTS, HOBBIES, OR PASSIONS?

I love to travel and have been blessed with many wonderful opportunities to experience different cultures around the world. I am an avid reader and enjoy books from all different genres. I enjoy gardening, although I am not always successful in my attempts. I am most passionate about my family and enjoy every minute I am able to be with them.

HOW DO YOU INSPIRE STUDENTS TO ENJOY/LOVE LEARNING?

I strive to make learning fun through active learning and humor. I want students to feel safe and supported through all of the processes of learning.

Ann Carbone
Kindergarten
First Year at CCS: 1999
Degrees: BS in Management; Master in Education (previously worked on Wall Street!)
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS WITH A STUDENT?

I love working with Kindergartners because I get to see the “light bulbs” go off. This past year I had a child who kept insisting that she could not read. One day she read a little reader to me, and when I pointed out that she had just read to me without any of my help, she jumped up with a big smile on her face and hugged me. That is what it is all about! There is so much growth during their Kindergarten year, and I love to watch their world open up as they discover reading and writing!

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO TEACH AT CHARLOTTESVILLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL?

When I first visited the school, it was located in the basement of a synagogue downtown. I met the principal and the four faculty members, and was struck by not only their spirit and joy, but mostly the overwhelming feeling of family. I had never experienced that at any other school, and knew I wanted to be part of this school. The feeling of family is what has made Charlottesville Catholic School so special to me over the years.

HOW DO YOU APPLY THE LATEST LEARNING RESEARCH IN YOUR CLASSROOM?

In Kindergarten we have been incorporating technology into our daily centers. This is the technology generation, so we have to start them early! We have been using iPads to reinforce our reading and math programs. The students have so much fun playing that they do not even realize how much they are learning! Last Spring, for example, some children wrote stories using a writing app, took a picture to go with their story, and then sent it home for their parents to enjoy! It was a huge success and both the parents and students loved it!

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON YOU WANT MY CHILD TO LEARN IN YOUR CLASSROOM?

The most important life lesson that I would like my students to learn in my classroom is that they are loved just the way they are. They learn that we are all special to God and to each other. That it is okay to make mistakes, as that is how we learn. That they can take chances with their learning, and not be afraid. That we all learn differently and at different paces, but that in the end we all learn. That they are safe and loved in Kindergarten and that school can be fun, and a place to make really great friends!

Christi Martin
Kindergarten
First Year at CCS: 2012
Degrees: BA from Mid-Atlantic Christian University; Masters in Education from Liberty University
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A TEACHER?

I began working with children at my church when I was a teenager, and continued as a youth director in college. I love being able to watch children learn & grow!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS WITH A STUDENT?

I love it when the light bulb comes on and the student really gets it. There are so many joys that come with teaching Kindergarten. They are so innocent in their view of the world and they say the cutest things, like, “I believe in Heaven I will be able to touch a porcupine”!

IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERTED ISLAND, WITH JUST ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would want my Bible. For the rest, I would have to trust that, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

WHAT EXPERIENCES OF PEOPLE HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE ON YOU?

My parents, youth leaders, and teachers had the biggest influence. The opportunities to work hard and serve others in my youth definitely shaped my character.

Courtney Shareck
1st Grade
First Year at CCS: 2018
Degrees: Bachelor of Science
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A TEACHER?

I had very influential teachers throughout my elementary and high school careers. They allowed me to help other students and pushed me to be the best I could.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INTERESTS, HOBBIES, OR PASSIONS?

I am passionate about riding horses and playing tennis (when I get the chance).

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS WITH A STUDENT?

My favorite moment with students is when I see the “light bulb” light up. They feel successful and I feel that I have helped the succeed.

bio-woman

Katie Milnor
1st Grade
First Year at CCS: 2016
Degrees: B.S. in Elementary Education from Lynchburg College; Graduate Certificate in Preschool Studies from Liberty University
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A TEACHER?

Having grown up in a large family, I was always a teacher of sorts to my younger siblings (I would force them to play school with me.) As the years went on, I became more interested in teaching children and being able to have those ah-ha moments with them. There is such joy in watching a child understand a concept and then be able to relate it to situations in their everyday life.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INTERESTS, HOBBIES, OR PASSIONS?

When I am not teaching, I enjoy doing crafts, cooking & baking, and spending time with my husband, son, and golden retriever.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS WITH A STUDENT?

My favorite moments with a student are talking to them outside of the classroom and learning about their interests & hobbies. It’s nice to be able to relate and communicate in a non-academic way throughout the day.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK AT CHARLOTTESVILLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL?

I chose to work at CCS because of the sense of family and community that I felt when I walked in the door. Having taken a break from Catholic education for a year, it was something I missed. I am excited to have that back and become part of the CCS family!

IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERTED ISLAND WITH JUST ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would bring my iPod with me. That would be the perfect uninterrupted time to read or catch up on my Netflix!

Becky Pilipowskyj
Second Grade
First Year at CCS: 2017
Degrees: BA Elementary Education. MA Special Education, Learning Disabilities American University
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK AT CHARLOTTESVILLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL?

My husband graduated from Charlottesville Catholic School and always had fond memories of being a student here. When the opportunity arose for an elementary position, I knew I needed to apply! From the moment I met Mrs. Fallica and Mr. Tillson, I knew that CCS was a special place where both students and teachers could grow to their fullest potential. It is truly a blessing to be here!

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON YOU WANT A CHILD TO LEARN IN YOUR CLASSROOM?

I want all of my students to know that they have a something special to offer. It may be that they are a fantastic writer, or mathematician, or artist, or that their compassion for others makes them the most special friend. Whatever their gift, I want them to know that WE, their peers and myself, will help them find it and grow.

HOW DO YOU KEEP CURRENT WITH THE SUBJECT AREAS YOU COVER?

Read, read, and read some more! I also continue to ask questions and seek out the “experts” in the building and from my prior experiences who are leaders in their subject areas. I feel blessed to have the human resources and their wealth of knowledge to draw from.

IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERTED ISLAND WITH JUST ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

A book! I get my best reading done on vacation!

Suzi Kelliher
Second Grade
First Year at CCS: 2018
Degrees: Master of Arts in Teaching from James Madison University
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A TEACHER?

I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to make a change in the lives of students. In high school I was a service learning student under the guidance counselor at our elementary school. In this role I mentored students, and saw a need for a positive role model in students’ lives. Through teaching I hope to leave a positive lasting impression on my students.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INTERESTS, HOBBIES, OR PASSIONS?

My passions involve swimming and Soap Box Derby. I have been involved with swimming for the past 15 years, and have coached/instructed in some capacity for the past 7 years. Soap Box Derby has been in my life for the past 14 years and I have helped develop a STEM curriculum for the new education program. My hobbies involve boating, board and card games, reading, camping, or anything involving quality time with friends and family.

HOW DO YOU GET THE RESULTS YOU WANT EACH STUDENT TO ACHIEVE?

For each student to succeed in my classroom I will work with them to set goals and steps to achieving those goals. Students need to have autonomy over some of their learning to be invested and passionate about what they are doing. To see these results we will have a lot of check in.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK AT CHARLOTTESVILLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL?

I chose to work at Charlottesville Catholic School because I was excited for the opportunity to combine two of my loves: learning and faith.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON YOU WANT A CHILD TO LEARN IN YOUR CLASSROOM?

The most important life lesson that I want a child to learn is that failure is a chance to learn, not an end. I have seen many students traumatized by the fear of failing that they never try. It is important that we have a growth mindset to learn from mistakes rather than feel that they have failed.

Teaching Aides

Roann Lewis
Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
First Year at CCS: 2011
Degrees: BS from the College of Mount St. Vincent; science & math content editor for CBS Publishing & Prentice Hall
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INTERESTS, HOBBIES, OR PASSIONS?

Reading history books, traveling to places in the history books and playing the piano are my favorite interests and hobbies. I am also a fanatic New York Yankees fan and instantly bond with other Yankees fans, many of whom, fortunately, live in Charlottesville.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS WITH A STUDENT?

I often work with children who are struggling with a particular concept so I get to be their “cheerleader.” Seeing their smiles when they have a breakthrough in understanding is a magical moment.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON YOU WANT MY CHILD TO LEARN IN YOUR CLASSROOM?

I want the children to learn how much God loves them. It is wonderful to be in a Catholic School where I have the opportunity to teach about God’s love. Last June, one of the Kindergartners thanked me for teaching her the Gospel. That made my day/my month/my year!

WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR STUDENTS TO GAIN FROM HAVING KNOWN YOU?

I hope they will always remember, as I sometimes remind them, there are billions of people who have lived, are alive today, and will live in future years, but there is only one amazing YOU, and as Mother Teresa said, though our God-given gifts may be different, together we can make something beautiful.

Mickie McBee
Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
First Year at CCS: 2018
Degrees: B. S. In Elementary and Exceptional Education
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INTERESTS, HOBBIES, OR PASSIONS?

I love reading, hiking in the woods, and skiing with my family.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK AT CHARLOTTESVILLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL?

I am honored to work at this wonderful school where my children have been since Pre-K. I love my CCS family!

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON YOU WANT CHILD TO LEARN IN YOUR CLASSROOM?

Treat others the way you hope to be treated, with love and acceptance.