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Jo Ann Pilarski (MI '94)

Teacher

Maple Ridge Elementary School
Alpena, MI

Subject(s) taught: Special Education
Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

At the time of the Award, Jo Ann Pilarski was:

Teacher
Maple Ridge Elementary School
Alpena, MI

Subject(s) taught: Special Education
Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Biographical Information

Jo Ann Pilarski teaches Chapter I reading and special education to kindergarten through sixth grade at Maple Ridge Elementary School in Alpena. At her school, Mrs. Pilarski has worked closely with a team of educators to implement a mainstreaming program that allows special education teachers to work together with homeroom teachers. She has also been involved in developing an alternative classroom setting for students who were not ready for full-time immersion in a standard classroom setting. Working with others in the school community, Mrs. Pilarski transformed an abandoned greenhouse on the school property into a "growing lab." The greenhouse environment lends itself to hands-on teaching in science and math, and provides a gentle and necessary introduction to the more structured classroom setting. In fact, children of all grades have benefitted from the gardens and the lessons that the greenhouse offers.



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