Featured Staff of the Month - Jen Trares

This month’s spotlight is on third grade intervention specialist, Jen Trares. Jen began her college career as an early childhood education major at John Carroll University. However, she soon discovered that she loved special ed and transferred to Ohio University (OU). It was there she met Dianne Gut, a professor who had actually taught a few years at JB. Professor Gut described JB as a unique Catholic school for students with learning differences, and expressed to Jen how much she loved it here. Excited to learn more, Jen planned a visit to JB. “I instantly felt welcomed and remember thinking that Dianne was right, it was a special place,” said Jen. She recalls how students were included and part of a classroom community. 

After conducting her student teaching at JB, Jen was hired the following year as a resource teacher for first and second grades. Jen credits the experience she gained in her early years at JB to Mrs. Mary Jo O’Neill, Sister Sharon, and Sister Francois. Although Julie Billiart Schools have grown and changed over the years, Jen still describes it as having the same welcoming, “family feeling” environment that helps students feel accepted and loved.

When looking for the right fit in a school, Jen believes it is important to consider the support and services a child needs to be successful. For instance, some students may require intensive intervention or one-on-one attention before transitioning to a new school or program. Jen received an e-mail from a parent who thanked her for helping her daughter to learn and grow into the best version of herself! The parent was also thankful for Jen’s love and belief in her daughter. Teachers like Jen exemplify the JB way on a daily basis.  

According to JB Lyndhurst Principal, Jodi Johnston, “Jen’s calm presence and quiet, patient manner helps each child know they are respected and loved. Jen always has a smile on her face! Her positive attitude is inspiring to her students, as well as to the faculty and staff of Julie Billiart Schools. Jen constantly searches for the best ways to meet the varying needs of all students. Julie Billiart Schools appreciate Jen and all that she does for our students, staff, and community.”

A special thank you to Jen and to every one of our exceptional teachers in Lyndhurst and Akron for all that they do. They bring knowledge, understanding, and experience to our students and their families. It is because of their dedication that our students have the opportunity to reach their social, academic, and personal potential every day. To learn more, visit www.juliebilliartschools.org.

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