LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Joann Terranova

Position: Retiring Paraprofessional
School: Jefferson Elementary School
School District: Jefferson Parish Schools
City, State: Jefferson , LA

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Joann Terranova was nominated by her principal, Celest Cunningham.

Mrs. Terranova has worked with children for 42 years. She's a dedicated, selfless, caring, hands-on assistant who loves working with special needs children. If Mrs. Terranova is asked to do an extra duty because there is no one available, she would not hesitate to do it. She is always willing to go the extra mile to help any student, not only the ones she works with in the classroom.

Mrs. Terranova was with the students from the time they arrived at school to the time they left to go home. The only break she takes during the day is her lunch break. Her heart is so big and generous that when she finds out about a student's hardships, she'll help in any way possible, whether it's paying for food, clothes, or even field trips so the student could go and not be left at school.

"During last year's closure of schools due to COVID-19, I would tell her I was going to visit my students at home to drop off work or just check in on them and their families," said the nomination. "Mrs. Terranova would be right there in my passenger seat telling me she was going, as well. Mrs. Terranova has been my assistant for the last nine years with Autistic students. She would take them to inclusion classes when they needed to go. In the classroom, she would pick up on the work that needed to be done without me telling her what I needed her to complete."

The students and parents love her, including the ones who have moved onto middle school. Some students went as far as calling her their grandma because they loved her so much and thought of her as family. Whenever she was absent, the students would ask where she was, if she was okay, and when would she come back.  When Mrs. Terranova returned, the students would tell her that she couldn't take off more time because they missed her. Her classroom teacher will be forever  grateful to have had the last nine years with this beautiful person.



Comments (2)


Deborah Fox Posted 24 days ago

JoAnn is one of the most dedicated professional educators I know. She has spent 40 years teaching and assisting students with special needs. You have impacted the lives of so many students in positive ways! Congratulations!

Paul Terranova Posted 1 months ago

Well Joann is my favorite sister in law. I know that she loves what she does for her students and her friends but it's time to Hang it up so we can go fishing..