2020 SEPAC AWARDS

Vanessa Iorlano

Newman Elementary School


Vanessa Iorlano, or “Mrs. I” as the kids call her, is described by parents as the model of everything you wish for in an educator. One parent remarks: “Mrs. Iorlano is kind and compassionate. She treats students with respect, validates their feelings, and truly collaborates to solve problems, all while holding them accountable for doing the best they can. She is proactive and creative and accommodates the unique needs of different kids. She recognizes that education is not always a one-size-fits-all endeavor and is eager to engage and support students as needed.”

Another parent adds: “She is an excellent communicator, unlike any educator we’ve ever worked with before; she asks key questions to better understand her students and shares updates to ensure that we are all working together to do what is best for her kids. She is dedicated even when things get tough. She is always there with an open heart, eager to solve problems and make learning fulfilling for her students. In addition, she regularly sends us messages to remind our child about a special visitor or project planned that day, anything that she knows will help her start the day feeling positive about school.”

One parent shares: “I'm always impressed with how Mrs. I puts her students at ease; even in challenging moments she always maintains composure, and treats them with kindness and respect. She is empathetic, patient and constructive. She gets to know her students individually, earning their trust and motivating them to do their best.”

A student shares: “Mrs. I is the best! I feel like she knows me so well! If I'm feeling frustrated with an assignment or having a bad day she really listens and always helps me figure out what to do. She doesn't let me off the hook — but I think that's probably a good thing!”

One parent shares this experience: “During the course of a school project our daughter seemed to be giving up. After trying and failing to help her re-engage, we reached out to Mrs. I, who suggested a great project that fit her interests. Her enthusiasm returned and Mrs. I coordinated the necessary people and departments that allowed her to complete the project, and she was so proud of her work. That would not have happened without Mrs. I’s love for her students and dedication to helping kids figure out how they learn best.”

In summary, a parent shares, “Mrs. I takes the time and makes the effort needed to build an honest, positive relationship with each student, meeting them at their own level and is beloved by many. She is fun, creative, kind and empathetic. Her never-ending optimism, dedication and support and commitment to solving problems in creative ways is appreciated by students, parents and fellow educators alike. Mrs. Iorlano has truly found her calling and is a gift not only to every child she serves, but to all their families as well.”

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