Featured Teacher…. Jo Ann Wood
Ms. Wood has been teaching for 36 years. Her career has spanned many grade levels, states and countries. Her diverse background brings to our school culture and a rich, high level of teaching standards.
Jo Ann was raised in Big Valley until the 7th grade when her family moved to Dinuba. Here she graduated from high school and moved onto Junior College at Kings River College Readily. After one year she transferred to Shasta College. Jo Ann graduated from Chico State with a BA in Liberal Studies.
During her Chico State studies Jo Ann was given the opportunity to participate in a Spanish Exchange program and spent a semester in Mexico. Her introduction to the Spanish language started in the 5th at Big Valley Elementary. Her love of Spanish began at a young age. She completed her student teaching in Redding.
Jo Ann began her teaching career in Honduras. She taught 3rd grade to U.S. students. The students’ families were living in Honduras working for American companies such as Chiquita Banana. She spent 2 years teaching and learning about their culture.
Over the next 12 years Jo Ann taught Kindergarten thru University level education in Columbia. She loved the people and culture. During these years she took a break from teaching to return to the states to obtain her Masters Degree. She attended Florida State and taught at the worst school in Gadsden County near Tallahassee. She spent 2-years teaching in Florida and produced the first Spanish concert. Jo Ann incorporates music in her lesson plans to this day. Her Masters Degree from Florida State is in Multilingual and Multicultural Education.
After Florida she returned to Columbia and took a principal position.
Returning to the states Jo Ann taught in Santa Cruz, CA then moved to Nevada.
Jo Ann spent the next 12 years teaching at Bailey Charter School in Reno, Nevada.
She was a co-founder of the charter taking an old building and creating a school from scratch. Students were bused in from all over Washoe County. She started and taught a 9-week New Comers program teaching Basic English to Spanish speaking students.
Jo Ann has taught a large range of grades and classes. She has college teaching experience from the University of Columbia and Sierra Nevada College.
Jo Ann is currently teaching our Spanish 1 & 2 classes as well as ELA Intervention and English Language Development Support.
Big Valley is blessed and grateful for her veteran teaching experience. She brings culture to expand our students daily learning experience. Her ability to speak Spanish fluently makes her lessons engaging and challenging. Her students enjoy her classes and have expressed how much they are learning.
We are excited to be able to offer a Spanish 3 class in next years schedule. Foreign Language is a requirement for college applications and an advantage for any student moving on to college or the work place.
Thank you to Ms. Wood for her time given for an interview. If you have a chance spend some time getting to know this great woman. She brings so much to our teaching staff and truly cares for our students and community.