The 6th graders have been very busy these last months. This week they presented their element projects that we have been studying in science. Each student researched an element and all of its properties and made a diorama displaying different items that contain their element. In social studies, each student researched a country and presented a slide show using google slides highlighting their country's geography, climate, religions, government, natural resources, patron saint, population, flag, etc. And to top off all their hard work, they rocked their NWEA math scores! Congratulations to our 6th graders!! We are so proud of you!!
This week first grade turned in their Flat Stanley reports and we learned about places all over the United States and the world. We marked his trips on a map and even learned a little about Jackson too. We published our first classroom books and wrote about our town of Jackson learning all about different landmarks and the history behind them in Jackson County, this included places such as the train station, Lumen Christi, St. John Church, Hinkley Bakery, The Toy House, and a few of our lakes. Lastly, we were visited by meteorologist Mr. Holton from WILX, Channel 10. He taught us about weather and weather safety. He also brought a slide show of the station showing all of the computers and tools he uses! It was an amazing learning experience.
The 2nd graders worked in partners during their first time coding on code.org. They were able to make characters from the Disney film "Moana" move and fish.
Name: Mrs. Victoria James
Elementary School: Henrietta Elementary
High School: Northwest High School
College and degree: BA in Elementary Education, Saginaw Valley State College
Career path that lead you to SJS: I had always wanted to be a teacher. I subbed for five years and fell in love with St. John’s and the people I met while subbing here.
Three traits that describe you: creative, caring and giving
Tell us about your family: I’m married to Mike and we have two daughters: Kylie and Brooke. We have two dogs: Sassy and Lacey.
Who’s your biggest inspiration: My parents encouraged me to go to college and be the best person I could be.
What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy scrap booking, making cards, reading, camping and watching my daughters’ sporting events.
What are you reading/listening to these days? Robyn Carr – The Life She Wants. I enjoy country music!
Favorite quote: If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it. – William Arthur Ward
Favorite children’s book: Bed Hogs by Kellie DiPucchio. I read it every year to the kindergarteners!
Tell us something that might surprise us about you: I love snowmen! I once decorated my bathroom in all snowmen – even over the summer.
Favorite thing about the subject you teach: I love to watch my students grow into remarkable young adults.
Teaching motto: You can do anything if you put your mind to it.
How has teaching at SJS made a positive impact on your life: I have worked with a lot of teachers who care about students and who dedicate their lives to make St. John’s a great place to be. Working here has helped me grow to be a better teacher.
We are hard at work at St. John Preschool. The Tuesday/ Thursday class (three turning four year olds) and the Monday, Wednesday, Friday class (four turning five year olds) have been learning about the characteristics of the winter season. Within the winter theme, each class has been working on different objectives.
The T/TH class worked on their scissor and fine motor skills while cutting out circles for snow people bodies and decorating them. We had a lot of fun driving cars in shaving cream and pretending that the cars got stuck in the “snow”.
The MWF class heard the story “Snowmen at Night”. This book got us thinking about what we thought we would do if we were a snowman and could go anywhere at night without anyone seeing us. The students did a great job coming up with creative ideas and then writing them on a sentence strip under the snow person that they painted and decorated. We also enjoyed practicing letter writing in shaving cream, followed by driving cars in the pretend snow.
Both classes loved having an indoor “snowball” fight! Students could even throw “snowballs” at the teachers and of course we got the throw them back!
by Marla Krueger, PreK teacher
Name: Ms. Colleen Lefere
Elementary School: Queen of the Miraculous Medal
High School: Lumen Christi High School
College and degree: Sales and Business Marketing, Western Michigan University. Teaching Certification, Grand Valley State University.
Career path that lead you to SJS: As the stubborn youngest child, I wanted to pave my own path. One that was different from my siblings who are all teachers. I went in to sales. Then after two years of working in sales, I went back to school to get my teacher certification. Once completed, I heard about an opening at SJS so I stopped in and talked to Mrs. Blair. The rest is history!
Three traits that describe you: adaptable, humorous, competitive
Tell us about your family: Love my parents, my siblings and 5 nieces and 3 nephews! I’m engaged to be married in 2017!
Who’s your biggest inspiration: My mom!
What do you like to do in your free time? Read, shop, and watch sports.
What are you reading these days? First Comes Love by Emily Griffin.
Favorite quote: The biggest risk in life is not taking one.
Favorite children’s book: Wacky Wednesday! It’s hilarious!
Favorite team: Notre Dame! Go Irish!
Favorite restaurant: Klavon’s
Favorite thing about the grade you teach: Hugs and handmade gifts.
How has teaching at SJS made a positive impact on your life: Working at SJS has greatly strengthened my faith and it makes me strive to be a better person each day.
Would you rather: have a flying car, have a robot housekeeper, or take a trip to space? I would choose the flying car – an impatient person’s dream!
The Kindergartners made snowmen abacuses as they were introduced to simple addition. They are joining the rest of the school in their efforts to strengthen their math skills. They loved this project and can't get enough of addition now!
6th grade and kindergarten prayer partners rolling a snowman! Depending on what number they roll on the die, they have to draw that part. Whoever has their snowman complete first wins! Lots of fun!
Every year the fifth graders in Mrs. James' class work hard on their Christmas project for Birthline in Jackson. Each student starts in November with working a chore from November 1 through Thanksgiving. They decide, with their parents, if they will work for money, diapers, or other baby item. In December we have a box lunch auction, where the children decorate a box and pack a lunch a student would like to eat. We then auction off each box for $1.00 and enjoy eating in our decorated classroom. Also in December we have a fifth grade bake sale for the whole school. We sell delicious goodies for a quarter each. We then add up all of our totals from the three projects and give our gift to Birthline. Our generous fifth graders and their families raised $456.00 and gave 14 packs of diapers, baby wipes, wash cloths, blankets and numerous outfits. Merry Christmas Birthline.
Name: Antoinette LaCinski
Elementary School: Flora List
High School: Jackson Northwest
College and Degree: Bachelors in music education with a vocal music focus, Spring Arbor University. Masters in educational media design and technology, Full Sail. Additional studies: Western Michigan University and Michigan State University.
Brief description of your career path that lead you to SJS: I worked in business but regretted not obtaining my bachelors in music so I went back to school as a non-traditional student in my 30’s. After I received my degree, I taught choir at Grass Lake and am now teaching technology here at St. John’s.
Three traits that describe you: Compassionate, inquisitive, persistent
Tell us about your family: I have two fur babies, Lincoln and Sande and two turtles, Lars and Obliana
Who’s your biggest inspiration? Our beloved Savior and the work of Pope Francis.
What do you like to do in your free time: I give music lessons, teach online music classes for Jackson College and am the music director at Sts. James, Cornelius & Cyprian Catholic Churches in Mason and Leslie.
What are you reading/listening to these days: I enjoy books about the new evangelization and contemporary Christian music.
Favorite quote: “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Aristotle
Favorite children’s book and why: You Are Special by Max Lucado. The message is the same whether you are four or forty - it’s beautiful and timeless.
Favorite food: Seafood
Tell us something that might surprise us about you: I used to study Tae Kwon Do
Favorite thing about the subject you teach: I love seeing students get excited about learning.
Teaching motto: Every child is a gift from God and I must nurture and educate them to the best of my ability.
How has teaching at St. John’s made a positive impact on your life? We truly do have a family environment at the school. Teachers, staff and students support each other in thought, words and actions. It’s such a great feeling to know that we can come together in prayer any time during the school day.