Maria Jenak

    2nd grade

    The usual question asked of teachers is “How long have you been teaching?” To be asked how long I’ve worked with kids is a little different. For me, it was as soon as I was old enough to babysit. And in NYC in the 70’s, that was 11 or 12! I was the resident babysitter in the 7 story apt building I grew up in. Looking back, I should have never been caring for infants at 12 years old, but families trusted me and I learned a lot!

    I moved from NYC to Colorado with my husband in 1997 after our first daughter was born. After visiting beautiful Boulder, we knew we wanted to raise our family here and we’ve never regretted the decision.  Ella (23) and Julia (20) loved growing up in South Boulder and attending our amazing public schools. And although they live on opposite coasts, they feel fortunate to return home to Boulder whenever they get the chance.

    My husband and I are also “parents” to two aging pets; Moose, our chocolate lab, and Tigger, our orange cat. We are grateful they still greet us when we come home to our “empty nest.”

    When you’re a New Yorker, you’re raised to believe there’s no better place on Earth.  But I’ve been fortunate to travel to Europe, especially Italy, where both side of my family originated. Recently, I’ve had an interest in exploring the diverse regions of the United States. Last summer, Ella and I road tripped from San Francisco to Seattle. We’re hoping to visit the South in the near future.

    I love to read good fiction. At the moment, my two favorite novels are The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. But during the work week magazines and podcasts are what I gravitate to. One of my favorites is How I Built This with Guy Raz on NPR.