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GET TO KNOW ... Katie Thornton, First Grade Teacher at Primary Village South
GET TO KNOW ... Katie Thornton, First Grade Teacher at Primary Village South

Throughout the year, we'll be introducing some of the great teachers, administrators, staff members, students and volunteers in our district. Today, let's get to know ... KATIE THORNTON, First Grade Teacher at Primary Village South!

Throughout the year, we'll be introducing some of the great teachers, administrators, staff members, students and volunteers in our district. Today, let's get to know ... KATIE THORNTON, First Grade Teacher at Primary Village South!

Tell us about your job.
This year I am co-teaching a first grade inclusion classroom with a brilliant teaching partner, Molly Harriman. It has been an awesome year of learning and growing for both the kids and myself. I have co-taught the majority of my 13 years in the district. I have learned a tremendous amount from each teacher and team. It is always great to get another perspective to support children the best way we can. I absolutely love the wonder, curiosity and joy that Early Childhood Education allows me to experience each day. It's like being a kid over and over again. I love exploring and discovering new things with them!

What are some of your goals this year?
This year I am working with a team of teachers who are passionate about teaching children holistically.

Our goal has been to use our research to develop online resources and professional development for other staff members. We believe that children's access to learning first begins with their social emotional growth and relationships that develop trust in their learning environments.

Tell us about your family.
My husband, Mike, and I live here in Centerville with our two girls, Maggie (3 years) and Winnie (18 months). We are very lucky to have my parents down the street to support us. It has been a lot of fun to use what I know about child development and implement those theories and practices at home with my own children. Luckily my husband is very handy and is always game to make things for our children or the classroom. We love being a part of the Centerville community and everything it has to offer!

Where did you grow up?
My family is originally from Pittsburgh, but the majority of my upbringing was in Huber Heights, Ohio. I loved growing up in such a diverse community. It has really allowed me to foster relationships and develop a greater understanding of others' perspectives.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I am a "general" education teacher now, but the majority of my teaching career I have taught special education in a resource room setting. I absolutely loved teaching this population of learners, the families and the support team. My passion is to give ALL learners access to learning in authentic purposeful ways.

What is your favorite book, movie, TV show or hobby?
I am a member of the Greater Dayton Reggio Study Group that meets monthly and tours, discusses and reflects on best teaching practices that are grounded in the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education. Each year we take on a book to study. This year we are reading "Purposeful Play: A Teacher's Guide to Igniting Deep and Joyful Learning Across the Day" by Alison Porcelli, Cheryl Tyler and Kristine Mraz. I love learning, growing, reflecting and being inspired by other teachers that have the same beliefs about the capabilities of young children.

What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't in education?
I was originally going to go to school for Interior Design, and I think that is probably what I would be doing now if I was not teaching. I am able to use my love for design by creating learning environments that give children the sense of home and discovery.

What is the best part about working for Centerville Schools?
The people for sure! I am surrounded by people who care, really care about the success of each child. I always feel so supported by my colleagues and administration. I love the way the community supports our district and that partnership is what makes Centerville City Schools a great place to learn!