English Teacher

Although my journey to the classroom began a bit later in life, I always have felt teaching was my calling.  The common thread running through my varied life and professional experiences is that I am fiercely committed to service.  Informally counseling a college student during turbulent life transitions over a cup of tea;  trading paint brushes with 6-year-olds during an after school mural-painting workshop in Nicaragua; traveling to Haiti to help rebuild after the 2010 earthquake; assisting people hoping to achieve sobriety and get their lives back–all of these experiences inform my work as an educator.

English was always my very first love.  Being able to share this love with my students is a gift.  As a teacher, I am committed to nurturing my students’ creativity.  I am a champion of public libraries and a steadfast believer in fostering a love of reading through choice.

Outside of the classroom, I am an amateur home chef and a nerdy knitter–I attend Vogue Knitting conferences in New York City. I also love to paint, have had art shows in both New York and Florida, and participated in the Elmira, NY Street Painting Festival.  I collect and play retro video games.  I love trivia, and was even on NPR’s trivia show “Ask Me Another.” (I made it to the final round, but didn’t win!) 

I have the support of my husband, Nick, who has also spent time in the classroom as a high school teacher, and my two-year-old daughter Viviana, who is truly full of life!  I grew up in Richford, NY, and though my life has taken me all over Western New York, across the country, and abroad, I am genuinely excited to be back home and to be a part of the New Roots community. 

Email: jderico@newrootsschool.org