Teacher Feature: Julie Janecka

School: Center Point Elementary.

Subject taught: Second grade.

Years teaching: 13 years.

Years at school/district: One year.

College: I have a bachelor of science in applied learning and development, with a major in youth and community studies and a minor in dance, from the University of Texas Austin.

Reason you chose a career in education: “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote really resonates with me. I hope to inspire and empower my students, just as many of my teachers did for me. I hope to make a lasting impression, even on just one student, to be a kind individual who uses a growth mindset to leave a positive impact on this world, all while staying true to themselves.

Most enjoyable part of teaching: Spending my day with my incredible second graders. Nothing fills my heart more than hearing their laughter and seeing their smiles as they spread their joy each day. It’s infectious. I love seeing how they light up when they understand a concept or make new connections to what we are learning.

Hardest part of teaching: The exciting part about teaching is that each day brings new challenges. No day is the same. Being flexible, adaptable, innovative, and proactive are just a few qualities that a teacher needs in their toolbox to help the day be more successful. While I welcome these daily challenges, they may leave me feeling quite exhausted by the day’s end.

If I could change one thing in education it would be: I’d like to have the funds for endless resources that would help keep the students challenged and engaged throughout the school year.

Other duties at school: I was the master of ceremonies for our school’s talent show this year, and am currently teaching students the art of dance in an after-school “Spring Club.”

Hobbies/interests: In my free time you will find me exploring new places in the beautiful Hill Country area; taking in the great outdoors with my dog, a Lab mix named Duke; visiting and creating new memories with my family; finding and cooking new recipes; looking for the simple joys that life offers; and dancing and taking dance classes.

Personal history: I was born and raised in Victoria, Texas, in a loving family of five. I began dancing at the age of two and fell in love with the art form. After dancing and training with the Victoria Ballet Theatre in my childhood, I graduated from Victoria Memorial High School a year early in 2005, and was accepted to train with Ballet Austin for a few years. While there, I began my undergraduate work with the University of Texas at Austin extension courses. Knowing I also wanted to pursue a career in education, I transitioned to a full-time student at UT while minoring in dance. My dance career opened up many wonderful opportunities to study and perform across the United States as well as internationally in Austria. After graduating from UT in 2009, I began my teaching career. I taught first grade at Nazareth Academy for two years, at De Leon Elementary School for three years, and second grade in Serene Hills Elementary School in Lake Travis ISD for seven years. By then I was ready for a change, so I put myself “out there,” and Mrs. George and I found each other at a job fair. I came to Center Point in 2021. I have been so fortunate to be able to fuse my passions together in my career. Daily, I find ways to incorporate dance into my classroom, creating fun and engaging ways for my students to learn. With 13 years of experience in education behind me, I know there is no other profession that would fulfill me as much as this one. While I currently have no children of my own, I have one older brother and one younger brother, so I very much enjoy being an aunt to two incredible nephews.

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