For eighth-grade intervention specialist, Katie Bildstein, teaching has always been a calling. “I don’t think I’ve never not known I wanted to be a teacher,” she recently reflected. “My only backup plan was to be a dancer at Disney World.”
The Julie Billiart Schools community is glad that Disney World took a back seat because Bildstein has been an integral part of the JB Way for the last eleven years. She’s taught fifth, sixth, and seventh grades, and currently teaches eighth grade – all at JB’s Lyndhurst campus.
After graduating from Miami University of Ohio, Bildstein began her teaching career at Saint Martin of Tours in Maples Heights. She then taught at Saint Williams in Euclid. While at Saint Martin of Tours, she returned to school to obtain her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Cleveland State University.
Bildstein learned about JB from Gina Castelli, a classmate at Cleveland State University. Bildstein and Castelli were partners on a class project and the rest is history. Castelli and Bildstein began working at the Lyndhurst campus around the same time. Castelli is now a first-grade intervention specialist at JB’s Akron campus. The two have remained friends.
“JB is engrained in my life,” Bildstein states. “The people are amazing.The friendships with other teachers and staff have definitely turned into life-long friendships. It’s a unique place and hard to describe unless you walk into one of our schools.”
Bildstein still remembers her very first interview, which fell on Saint Patrick’s Day, at the Lyndhurst campus. The many themed activities delighted and intrigued Bildstein, but it was JB’s mission that really impacted her. Now, eleven years later, she says the school has changed her philosophy.
“JB has totally switched my way of teaching,” she states. “The school completely changed my philosophy of education and how I look at education in general. The way we do things at JB should be how things should be done everywhere.”
Now Bildstein will take on a new role at Julie Billiart Schools’ Lyndhurst campus as Assistant Principal and Director of Special Education.
“We are excited that Katie Bildstein will move into the position of Director of Special Education at Julie Billiart School. Katie has worked with our junior high families and helped the teachers at the other grade levels throughout this year with IEPs, ETRs, and worked with the various public school districts,” states Jodi Johnston, JB Lyndhurst Principal. “We are excited to have her in this role full-time. She will be an asset to our families and to Julie Billiart School, Lyndhurst.”
Bildstein is excited about her new position and looking forward to the challenge. “I’m excited to be that connection between teachers and administration, especially since I just came out of the classroom. I’m excited to get to know more families and districts.”
When Bildstein is not working for JB she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has three of her own children, a daughter in first grade and four-year-old twins in preschool.