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Mrs. Janet Maki, Kindergarten

When I was a young child I dreamed of becoming an educator. It might have stemmed from growing up with a mother who taught preschool. I recall at a young age visiting her at work and telling myself, "When I grow up, this is what I want to do with my life."

I was in third grade when I realized that teaching was my calling. There are teachers that come into your life and have a profound impact on you; they make you love school and make you want to learn. For me, that was Ms. Evarts. 

Ms. Evarts was amazing with her students and seemed to have a connection with them. Every day she would read us "Where the Red Fern Grows." To this day I find that one of my most treasured memories. She was a positive, loving, passionate, caring role model. She inspired me to want to be the same.

I was fortunate enough to be reacquainted with Ms. Evarts when I had her as a professor in college. I told her how much her passion and genuine love for her students meant to me as a teacher, how much she impacted not only me but all the students who were fortunate to have had her as a teacher.

While in college I worked at Children's Wonderland (which later became Woodcrest Preschool) in Newbury Park, California. It was there that I realized how much I enjoyed teaching young children and the desire to positively influence and educate the minds of our future generation.

I received my Bachelor's degree and teaching credential from California Lutheran University, and was fortunate to get hired as a long-term sub for Simi Valley Unified School District in Spring 2002, as a long-term sub. The following school year I was again hired as a long-term sub, this time teaching kindergarten at Vista Elementary School. In Fall 2003, I was hired  full-time as a kindergarten teacher, where I consider "home," here at Katherine Elementary School.

Each new school year I look forward to seeing the new smiling faces and eager minds. I love watching them learn and grow throughout the school year and knowing I played an important role in their academic success.

A parent once told me, "Mrs. Maki, you are one of the most important people in my child's life." That statement meant so much to me, that I that I could play such an important part of a child's life. I strive everyday to be the kind of teacher Ms. Evarts was to me, someone young children can look up to, who they can trust, and who is always willing "to go the extra mile" to ensure their students success.

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