Hannah Magliocca has returned to her roots, teaching pre-kindergarten at Broadalbin-Perth Elementary School.
The 2017 Broadalbin-Perth High School graduate transferred into the district in fourth grade, after spending her first few years of school at St. Mary’s Institute.
“It’s awesome to be back in the district I grew up in,” Magliocca said.
After high school, she went on to study inclusive early childhood education at The College of Saint Rose and she’s working toward her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction through the college.
Outside the classroom, Magliocca also coaches girls modified basketball in the district and is working with her fiance and fellow teacher Stephen Spraker to train their chocolate Lab named Dack (after the Adirondacks) to become a certified therapy dog.
The Gazette recently caught up with Magliocca about her family connections to teaching and her love of the Adirondacks.
Q: What was your inspiration for going into teaching?
A: I actually have quite a few teachers in my family. I have an aunt and she teaches here too. It’s funny because we have the same last name and so I’m Ms. Magliocca because I’m not married yet and she’s Mrs.
I have a cousin [who] teaches over in Amsterdam and my grandma was a TA for 30 [or] 40 years. My mom’s actually an occupational therapist as well. So she has a teaching gene just in a different way. So it was in my blood, just something natural that I was born to do.
Q: When did you start teaching?
A: This is my second year teaching. My first year was in Amsterdam Central School District. I was a kindergarten self-contained teacher. But I always knew that I wanted to do pre-K. I just love this age. I just have a special connection with them.
Q: What have been some of the challenges of teaching this year?
A: I think some of the challenges this year [were] I had to start all over again, with a change of totally different school district and totally different age and going from special ed to regular ed. There were some adjustments I had to make in my teaching.
Q: Can you tell me about your teaching style?
A: I like, especially at the pre-K level, just having them learn that independence. So creating that environment for them and letting them explore. I’m just in their corner rooting them on and helping them explore.
Q: What made you want to coach basketball on top of teaching and working toward your master’s degree? Did you play when you were a student in the district?
A: I’ve been playing basketball since the first grade since I was 7 years old at the local YMCA. Then I played at St. Mary’s too when I was there and then when I got to Broadalbin, I just continued it and I played right up until my senior year. So it’s really something that’s so special to me and it’s just a full circle moment.
Q: I heard that you and your fiance are training your dog to be a therapy dog. Can you tell me about that?
A: My fiance and I, we are both teachers. He’s a health and PE teacher here at Broadalbin-Perth. We wanted to get [Dack] trained to become a therapy dog so we can take him into the school into the classes and really get him involved in education too.
There’s just so many studies that prove that dogs coming into the classroom is beneficial for students and just makes them more relaxed. He has one more class, and then he’ll be fully certified.
Q: Do you and your fiance do a lot of hiking in the Adirondacks?
A: Yes, we do. We’re buying a house right on Sacandaga Lake. We’re very outdoorsy people, we’re always on the lake. We have a jet ski and a boat. We go camping in Speculator with my grandparents every year.
The Adirondacks just has a special place in our heart. We’re so grateful that we’re going to be able to live there.
“Getting To Know …” is a weekly feature spotlighting people making a difference in the lives of others. If there’s someone you think we should feature, let us know by emailing us at [email protected]