LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Rosa Giannelli

Position: Social Worker
School: Spring Trail Elementary School
School District: Elgin Area School District U46
City, State: Carol Stream, IL

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Rosa Gianelli was nominated by her principal, Amy Kendryna.

Miss Gianelli does more than meet the needs of students on her case load; she goes above and beyond to help students outside of her caseload. She helped create a Buddy Program for students with autism, and she teaches Second Step to all kindergarten students. Miss Gianelli even started a Girls On The Run program for girls who struggle with self-esteem issues.

There are many ways that Miss Gianelli creates a positive school atmosphere, but two specific ways are dancing in the morning and Be Kind days.  Every morning, Ms. Gianelli plays music, and students have the opportunity to dance with staff. The staff also greet every student as they come in the door. Last year, Miss Gianelli organized four "Be Kind" days where she provided activities to show kindness to everyone in the community. 

Miss Gianelli is a leader within her district; she attends every social worker meeting, provides insight, and takes the lead on the MTSS team. When Kendryna is out of the building, Miss Gianelli takes on all safety responsibilities with pride.

"I am Miss Gianelli's evaluator, and she has received a distinguished rating in all areas of her professional evaluation," Kendryna. said. "She also participates in state and national conferences."

Miss Gianelli is also on the PBIS team. In this role, she coordinates school celebrations and modeling stations of appropriate behavior, in addition to running the check-in and check-out system that pairs students with caring adults.

"Every day, she comes to school with a smile on her face, eager to help the students," Kendryna said. "Students always come first and she attends to them over everything else. I can't think of anyone with higher ethical and moral standards."

Comments (23)

Officer Castro Posted over a year ago

The Carol Stream Police Department had the oppurtuniy to assist Miss Gianelli in the Girls On The Run program. Her commitment and dedication to all the students at Spring Trail School is great for our community. I have also had the opportunity to work with Miss Gianelli and see the amazing work she does with many students going through difficult times. Congratulations on your nomination!!!

Pamela A ShermanWells Posted over a year ago

Rosa is a very positive person and I feel fortunate that she is our social worker. Congratulations Rosa!

Pete Barbanente Posted over a year ago

It’s my pleasure to recommend my dear friend, Rosa, for the life changer of the year award. I’ve known Rosa for well over a decade and can attest to her strength of character and compassion for others. Rosa has always amazed me with her spirit of giving and never asking for anything in return. On a personal level, Rosa is a cherished friend and all around lovely person. She’s thoughtful, reliable, and warm, and someone who will sit there and listen to you for hours and offer her advice only after you’ve poured out your entire heart and soul. Rosa has worked hard to get where she is today, and she truly deserves all the success that has come her way. Rosa is an outstanding and active citizen with a great commitment to community service. I look forward to seeing all the good that she will continue to do in the buddy program. Rosa has a nurturing personality and has supported me through some difficult times. I’ve never seen Rosa stressed out or frustrated. She has a good head on her shoulders and her boundless energy is an inspiration to us all. I truly and wholeheartedly - without a doubt in my mind - believe that Rosa should win this award. Thank you.

Karen Lloyd Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Rosa! Your positive attitude and leadership within the social work department are much appreciated. Spring Trail is lucky to have you!

Teresa Selvaggio Posted over a year ago

I couldn’t think of a better person to be nominated. Rosa is one of the most self-less people I know. She always goes above and beyond expecting nothing in return. Her dedication does not stop when she leaves her building. I have had the privilege of having her as a friend for a long time and I see what does for her kids outside of school from planning The Girls On The Run to collecting winter gear to making sure she has the proper supplies for all her kids. Her dedication is one of a kind. Rosa’s positive attitude, kindness, and caring personality make her a great friend whom I can always count on. I am very proud of her and she really deserves this recognition.

Tino Giannelli Posted over a year ago

I couldn't be prouder of my sister, Rosa!! She is always there when you need her. She has great passion for what she does and does it with a positive attitude. She approaches her job as someone that can make a positive difference in peoples lives and takes great pride in doing so. Her dedication and devotion to her students is evident by helping to gather donated items for them such as school supplies or clothing or finding new activities or ideas to connect with them to help them grow and develop but make it fun at the same time. These are just a few examples. She is a positive role model to her students as well as to her nieces and nephew. Her commitment to helping kids carries over to her family and we get first hand experience of how well she connects with them, but most importantly cares and always wants the best for them. Being nominated for this award doesn't surprise me as being a life changer is what she works to be and wants to be every day, which is why she chose the profession that she did.

Melissa Waxler Posted over a year ago

I have also had the pleasure of working with Rosa. She is quite deserving of this reward.

Katie Smiley Posted over a year ago

Rosa is a dear friend and colleague who I get to work with. She serves on the social work department committee for u46 and is a pivotal part of the team. When faced with the challenge of having high need autism classrooms in her building she has became so involved and an expert on how to best meet the students needs. I’m so happy and proud to know someone like Rosa and think she is very deserving of this honor!

Brenda Partyka Posted over a year ago

Rosa is an amazing social worker, leader, and friend. I have never worked with a colleague who is so dedicated to knowing and understanding the needs of an entire student body! She is a true joy maker who makes everyone smile! Rosa works beyond the school day to make a difference in so many lives! She is a true inspiration!

Shari Andress Posted over a year ago

I had the privilege of working with Rosa before she was a social worker. We worked together in Early Intervention and I watched her change many lives even back then. Since that time I have noticed how she often sends out posts looking for donated items for her students - like winter jackets!! I am certain that with all of her passion and energy and love she certainly changes lives for the better every day!

Hannah Williamson Posted over a year ago

Rosa worked with my son the past two years, and I was so impressed by how caring and invested she is! As a parent who really wanted to see school inclusion of my autistic son and his classmates, the Buddy program she set up was very meaningful. She absolutely deserves this award!

Noelle Dulabaum-Bohrer Posted over a year ago

Rosa is a fellow Social Work colleague of mine at District U-46. I am very excited that she was nominated for this award. Rosa is very passionate about her work as a school social worker and is dedicated to meeting the needs of her students, families and staff. She works above and beyond in developing interventions and opportunities for her students at her school. She is very energetic, creative, innovative, and does well building relationships with everyone she encounters. In addition, she is very involved with our social work department and is very supportive to others and always open to collaboration. Rosa is a amazing social worker and is well deserving of this award.

Mary Abbott Posted over a year ago

I want to thank Rosa’s principal for nominated her for this award . Rosa is a colleague and friend who goes above and beyond in all areas and titles in her life . Her enthusiasm for social work and advocacy is inspiring. She has dedicated her life to helping others and is always first in line to volunteer her time and efforts to any cause or situation that benefits others . Her genuineness and compassion is limitless. She is giving, caring and kind . Professionally she has shown great leadership skills and pushes herself outside her comfort zone in order to be her best . Everyday in her work with children and adults alike Rosa is a constant source of positivity and energy. Whether she is singing and dancing outside her building , music blaring , welcoming each child to school or comforting a little one who is having a tough day . She is always there and wants to help . She changes the lives of everyone she touches because she is non-judge mental, shows care and listens. Sometimes that’s all someone needs in order to feel better. To my friend and fellow social worker . You deserve this honor because you’re the real deal and I can’t wait to see what else you will do in the future ! Mary Abbott MSW LCSW Lead Social Worker School District U-46

Rosanna Hanson Posted over a year ago

Anyone that knows Rosa knows she has a beautiful heart and I’m glad she is being recognized for it too!

Eileen Segretto Posted over a year ago

Rosa is an outstanding individual. She is everything you could ask for in helping students!! She has a positive attitude and a smile that lights up a room as well as students' faces. Rosa is quick to bring the community together and provide students with consistency in a positive way. She is definitely a worthy recipient for this award!!!!!!!

Jody Posted over a year ago

Rosa is beyond a life-changer for springtrail! She goes above and beyond for all of her students, takes the time to meet with the parents, and when I had concerns with my daughter updated me personally on her progress! She is an asset to the school and I am a better person for having the opportunity to know her! This award would be well deserved for her!

Kayla Lockhart Posted over a year ago

Rosa is a very important asset to our school. She helped me tremendously my first year spring trail, helping me with setting up my classroom and dealing with challenging behaviors. She goes above and beyond for all my students by making them social stories, brainstorming ideas for social skill development, and setting up a buddy system for them. No one is more deserving of this award!

Ashley Talip Posted over a year ago

As a fellow social worker who works with Rosa, she is the definition of team player!!! She puts her heart and sole into her students, families, staff, and fellow colleagues. Her attitude and smile are infectious and she is always willing to lend a helping hand. So proud of you!!!

Sue Koth Posted over a year ago

As a former parent of Spring Trail, I couldn’t agree more that Miss Gianneli is so deserving of this award. She is a great person inside and out and does everything for the kids!! The one downfall about not having anymore kids that go to Spring Trail, is we don’t get to see her everyday. Good luck Rosa!!! YOU ROCK!!!!

Menissa Hirshberg Posted over a year ago

I am so very proud of my cousin Rosa Giannelli. This nomination doesn’t surprise me one bit. Her dedication to her students are evident even outside of work. Rosa goes above and beyond helping her students succeed in school. Every morning she greets her students with a happy, familiar face and a little song and dance as the students get out of the bus and walk inside the school. Students count on her consistency to start the day off positively and she doesn’t let them down. Rosa also reaches out and brings the community together like gathering school supplies, toys for families around the holidays, etc. and bringing awareness to important issues. I can’t imagine a more worthy recipient of this award than Rosa Giannelli. Rosa’s passion and enthusiastic school spirit is inspirational.

Sara Asta Posted over a year ago

Miss Gianelli goes out of her way to support students, staff, and parents. I often find her still hard at work hours after school is over, lending support to a teacher with questions, running her Girls on the Run curriculum, or communicating with parents. What stands out for me is her genuine care for all members of the school community. Everyone feels valued by her. Everyone feels welcome!

Jordan Heiss Posted over a year ago

I teach students with Autism. There are days where students struggle to regulate their emotions and more assistance is needed within my classroom. Miss Gianelli is always one of the first staff members to come provide assistance when it is needed even when it is during her lunch hour or one of her prep times. Miss Gianelli also has a positive impact on the staff. Being a new teacher to a school can be nerve racking. From day one, Miss Gianelli approached me with a warm, welcoming attitude and offered her assistance in my classroom on the first day of school to ease the transition. She truly goes above and beyond her duties as a social worker and we are beyond grateful to have her at Spring Trail! Thank you Miss Gianelli!

Cathy Tessem Posted over a year ago

Rosa Gianelli is everything you could ask for in a fellow employee in addition to all she does for our students. She comes to school with a positive attitude and that mega watt smile! Our students are so lucky to have her in their corner! I couldn't think of a better nominee for Lifechanger of the year!