More time for family

Gijanto retiring to visit family, travel

 

 

Although Kristie Gijanto is regularly in charge of more than 300 students, it was only one child who prompted her to contemplate retiring.

“Grandchild number four is on the way so my grandkids decided it for me,” Gijanto said Friday.

The principal at Mary J. Tanner Primary School since 1999, Gijanto said it was having family in the west and the grandchild on the way in February that drove the decision to retire at the end of the school year.

“I have two kids and two sisters, one in Oregon and one in Arizona, and we have four kids on the East Coast from Maine to Ithaca. We’re going to travel and visit family, we’ll be spending a lot more time with them now,” she said.

“This will allow us more time to go back and forth,” she said. Gijanto, and husband Jack a retired barber, plan to move around possibly seeing the sites with a recreational vehicle. 

Gijanto said Mary J. Tanner was a great place to finish a career in education.

“It’s been a great place to work and I just love working with this age group…they’re always so eager to learn,” Gijanto said.

Gijanto credits everyone she works with for making her time at the school run smoothly from teachers and staff to a very enthusiastic and supportive community group of parents. Over the interceding 12 years Gijanto said she has seen a tremendous amount of change perhaps symbolized best by the Pre-K students who are working with i-Pads.

“There has been a lot of technical growth that I’m very excited about; every class is equipped with a smart board,” she said.

With those boards the students have had a chance to see everything from the rain forest to the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska.

“I’ve always tried to bring the world to them and technology made that possible,” she said.

The MJT building project started just after her arrival and Gijanto said “, it transformed the school into a wonderful place.” 

“It’s been a wonderful experience for me,” she said.

Looking back Gijanto said getting the pre-kindergarten program started will be one of the things she is most pleased with during her time at the school.

Among the programs and milestones which are her favorites, Gijanto said ‘Bringing Books to Life’ has always been a favorite.

As a part of the school’s literacy effort Gijanto reads books to the students in the library often with props or costumes that help illustrate the story.

On the artistic front, Gijanto said she will always remember the legacy projects. As a part of the projects students and volunteers often led by a visiting artist, paint floor to ceiling mural in eye-poppingly bright colors featuring various nature themes such as the rain forest or the ocean.

Gijanto said the kids who are aware of the change are comfortable with it. As the year goes on she said she plans to gradually let the kids know what it taking place during times when they can ask and she can answer questions.

“I just tell them I’m leaving to go spend more time as a Grandma and they can relate,” Gijanto said.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Rain stops, the park rocks

Magill and Macri 3 cover

By Jamie Norton The skies opened up five minutes before Daryl Magill – one of the biggest draws of the […]

Dresden works to eradicate invasive weeds

Water chestnut harvester redit VT DEC

By Dan King The town of Dresden has started its annual effort to remove invasive water chestnuts from Lake Champlain, […]

Man walking to D.C. to ‘raise awareness’

don

By Dan King Don Duncan may be 65 years old but he’s not letting that stop him from raising awareness […]

Town, village to pledge support for bike trail

Canal Trail

By Dan King A multi-use trail from Waterford to Whitehall is expected to receive letters of support from both the […]

Area man to hold talk about Robin Williams

By Linda Ellingsworth It’s been almost a year since the untimely passing of comic great Robin Williams, and a local […]

Ride to benefit veterans

By Christina Scanlon When the bikers hit the road for the third annual ride to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project […]

Macuras ‘my favorite’

By Jamie Norton Daryl Magill has been lighting up the pagoda at Veterans Memorial Park for years. And every year, […]

Missing teen found

Two seemingly unrelated cases involving teens from Fair Haven, Vt., converged last week, resulting in both the arrest of a […]

Meet-n-greet famous grapplers

Brodus Clay

By Dan King Former WWE wrestler Brodus Clay will be the highlight of the World of Hurt Wrestling event tomorrow […]

Hartford to host annual sale

By Dan King There will be bargains galore next weekend in the “Heart of Washington County.” Hartford will host its […]

Despite tickets, drivers still disobey law

By Christina Scanlon A recent upswing in cell phone tickets in the village of Granville is due, in part, to […]

Teen drivers learn lessons

By Joshua Bassett and Christina Scanlon Brooke Perry let out a shriek and Justin Nardone got an orange safety cone […]