Janet Ann Gottsleben (1956-)
Teacher/Principal at Beacon
(Harper Woods School District), Michigan
Grade Teacher. - Education: Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University
and a Bachlor of Science Degree in Education from Central Michigan. -
Background/other positions: I taught in Title 1 for 3 years, then in
kindergarten for 20 years. This is my first year teaching second grade. -
Favorite Quote: If a child does not LEARN the way we teach - TEACH the way they
learn. - Other information that I’d like to share: In the Harper Woods School
District I also serve on the NCA District Steering Committee, I am the co-Chair
of The Beacon Character Education Program, I serve as the Teacher Liazon to the
Parent Playground Committee, And I am the teacher union MEA-PAC chair.)
of the week:
Beacon Elementary School
Who she is: Janet Gottsleben is a second-grader teacher at Beacon Elementary
School in Harper Woods.
Background: Gottsleben has been teaching in the Harper Woods School District for
the past 26 years. She received her bachelor's degree from Central Michigan
University and her master's degree from Wayne State University.
Why nominated: Gottsleben is a hard working and dedicated professional who puts
her students above all else. She strives to make sure each student fully
maximizes their potential in her classroom. She is also involved with several
organizations at the school including the Beacon Character Education program and
the Parent Playground Committee.
says: "I continue to look forward each day to … making a difference."
Monday, November 8, 2004
after the new year, Janet Gottsleben,
principal of Beacon Elementary School in Harper Woods,
intention to retire
at the end of the 2016-17 school year.
been at Beacon for my entire 38-year career, and it is just time. Most parents
are blown away by that. I don’t have any particular plans after retirement, but
I am doing so now because I still have energy enough left that I can still
contribute somehow somewhere else."
"I started as
a reading teacher for three years, and then I went into kindergarten for 20
years," said Gottsleben. "I taught three years in the second grade, then
three more in third, and I became an administrator for the last nine years. I
never dreamed that would be where I would end up. I grew up here, I mentored new
teachers, I worked closely with the union. I’ve seen so much of this district
and taken on almost every role here."
Gottsleben said it is a strange feeling to look at her school and the
district and see how it has changed from when she began teaching in 1979.
very different in the district today. We were a middle class, 100 percent
Caucasian district when I started in 1979," she said. "I was 21 years old then,
and today we are 90 percent African-American, 30 percent Section 8 housing, so
socio-economically this community has changed a lot. It was a gradual change, so
I was kind of able to gain skills as I went. Technology has changed, society has
changed, everyone communicates by phones today. Teaching and educating in
general also has changed a lot in that time."
Gottsleben said she is proud of what she has accomplished throughout her
career and said she hopes the district continues to evolve after her retirement
and find new ways to care for and educate students.
proud of the school and what the staff and I have created here. What I hear most
is how welcoming and inviting this school is, and I would say we spent a lot of
time developing that culture and climate here," she said. "We will have a
10-hour session for our staff with Eric Jensen about teaching kids who are
facing challenges and suffering trauma we may not know how to address, such as
poverty or conflicts between family members. Kids can’t learn if they are
suffering from trauma. I hope the district is able to address the social and
emotional needs from kindergarteners all the way to the 12th grade. I would like
to see our district focus on the whole child all the way through."
Cheryl Puzdrakiewicz is the principal of Tyrone Elementary, the Harper Woods
school that covers grades four through six and receives most Beacon students
when they move up from the third grade. She said that Gottsleben was a
great resource for the district and one that the district will be sad to see go.
worked with her her entire career as principal," said Puzdrakiewicz. "I knew she
would be amazing, and she has been, and she has really earned her retirement.
She has been a fabulous role model, a great colleague and a wonderful friend. We
will be tapping into her expertise for many years to come."
The two schools worked together closely, a relationship that grew stronger over
time thanks to Gottsleben’s leadership.
worked a lot to work together to make a kindergarten to sixth-grade school that
just exists in two buildings," said Puzdrakiewicz. "We wanted to make sure the
kids had continuity through our physical education programs, by combining our
parents club, working together on fundraisers and coordinating on lesson plans
and subjects so students have an easier time transitioning from early elementary
to late elementary classes."
Gottsleben lauded the support she has received from the families of Harper
Woods and said she hopes that spirit will continue.
people will continue to support each other and support the community," said
Gottsleben. "The Harper Woods community is a village, and we have to come
together for our children. It’s all about supporting our kids and supporting our
Source: candgnews.com/news/beacon-elementary-school-principal-retire <posted
February 22, 2017 by Brendan Losinski>