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#KnowYourPelicans: Joanna Stern
Posted 09/29/2017 07:00AM

Know Your Pelicans - Joanna Stern


#KnowYourPelicans: Joanna Stern

Third Grade Head Teacher


What is your favorite thing about Packer?

I love our students! They constantly inspire me to make lessons more creative, multi-sensory, engaging, and challenging. I am always in awe of what our students bring to class discussions on topics such as identity, literacy, math, social studies, our classroom community, and beyond — I am always learning from them! I consider being a teacher at Packer a privilege, and I am thankful for the unique and joyful personalities that walk through my door every day!

Describe a favorite or memorable moment during your time at Packer.

During Hurricane Sandy, I had to evacuate my apartment for over a month and did not know if I would ever make it back to my home. The entire Packer community, including the administration and my students' families, helped me feel deeply connected and safe. That was the moment I knew Packer was the environment for me. I will always look back on my Hurricane Sandy experience with gratitude and strength, all thanks to Packer.

Name a book/artwork/piece of music that changed your life and explain how.

"Carry On" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. This is such a beautiful song. My dad introduced me to the band when I was 10 years old and I haven't stopped listening since. The flow, the harmony, the shift in tone, the message of the song — all so powerful. "Now witness the quickness with which we get along/ to sing the blues you've got to live the tunes and carry on/ Carry on, love is coming/Love is coming to us all." A great reminder to embrace the various cycles of love in our lives.

What is something that most Packer people wouldn't know about you?

Overall personal health and artistic expression are huge parts of my identity, as I have a background in fitness, nutrition, dance, and theatre (acting, dancing, sound design, makeup, and stage management). I used to be the director of the pre-teen division of a weight-loss camp in California. That experience ultimately led me to teaching! I am always happy to sit down and give a pep talk about healthy living habits or ways to reach fitness goals.

I am also a huge football fan (Go Giants!) and will always stop to sing a song from the show Hamilton with anyone — but that's no secret!






Previous Pelicans:

Kindergarten Teacher Anne Montero

Upper School Science Teacher Alice Lurain

World Languages Teacher Su-Ling Huang

Upper School Art Teacher Eric Baylin

Preschool Teacher Lynnette Arthur

Middle School English Teacher Todd Johnson

Physical Education Teacher and Coach Rich Domanico

Food Services Member Ann Martinez

Lower School Librarian Chris Rush

Upper School Computer Science Teacher Louis Minsky '09

Upper School History Teacher Monika Johnston

First Grade Teacher Irene Turner

Interim Chair of the Arts Department Ali Boag

Middle School Dean of Student Life and Health Teacher Bessie Oster

Fourth Grade Teacher Tim Jensen

Middle School Math Teacher Ashley Greene

Upper School Choral Director Esther Liu Harris

Upper School English Teacher Eric Weisberg

Facilities Staff Member Luciean Seaforth

Director of Global Outreach, Service, and Sustainability Tené Adero Howard '91

Administrative Assistant for Student Services, College Counseling Lydia Monzio

Lower School Associate Teacher Annabelle Baylin

Middle School Administrative Assistant César Ayala

Instrumental Music Coordinator Paul Riggio

Second Grade Teacher Sara Baumrin

The Development Office

Pre and Lower School Music Teacher Fran Onne-Fong

Physical Education and Health Teacher Dorothy Gurreri

Latin Teacher Tim Flannery

Hallmaster Louis Rios

Security Team Member Nick Griffith


The Packer Collegiate Institute
170 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 250-0200
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