Let's Meet the Teacher

Let's meet the teacher...
Hi! My name is Beth Zahnd and I was born and raised right here in "River City"! I attended St. Joseph Public Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. To be exact, I attended Bessie Ellison for kindergarten and 1st grade (how cool is that?), Hawthorne Elementary, now Coleman School, for 2nd-6th, followed by Bode Middle School and Central High School. My classroom at Bessie Ellison is the same classroom my dad taught 8th grade science in years ago! It was during first grade at Bessie Ellison that I fell in love with reading because I got to bring a "school book" home to read for the first time! Public education in St. Joseph has been part of my life since I was born! 

I attended Southwest Missouri State University, now Missouri State University, in Springfield, MO and also Missouri Western State University. I hold a B.S. in education, with an area of emphasis in early childhood and a Master's Degree in education from Baker University. I have been employed by the St. Joseph School District for 21 years. I have been a kindergarten teacher at Lindbergh, Edison, Humboldt and now Ellison. I spent one year as an Instructional Coach for the district.
I have been happily married to my husband, Curtis, for 21 years this year, and we have two children, Emmaleigh and Cooper. Together, our family enjoys spending time together and to travel. One of our most favorite vacation spots is Breckenridge, CO. I LOVE to snow ski in the winter and to white water raft in the summer! We also have fallen in love with Captiva Island in southwest Florida! I enjoy running/walking, going to ZUMBA classes and working out and to laugh with my friends! I spent most of the month of July 2008 in Puttur, India on a mission trip...an experience that will never leave my heart! Someday, I hope to return to Puttur with my family.

 I am one of the co-founders for the non-profit  organization RESCUED READERS!  We connect schools in the United States with schools in Africa through literacy!  We help them to set up libraries, develop relationships and learn about each country's culture!  Ellison is partnered with the New Times Primary School in the village of Kishanje in southwest Uganda!  A team from Ellison traveled there in July of 2012.  We set up a library for our friends and I got to meet our sponsor son, Joab!  We will return with more books, materials and love in June of 2014!   

Kindergarten has been a passion of mine for many years, but I also enjoy growing as a professional and perfecting my craft of teaching. I may be the teacher, but I am ALWAYS a learner! I believe that creating a community of friends and learners in kindergarten is key to my students' success and only when that exists will readers, writers, mathematicians and scientists BLOOM! I strive to create a classroom that is a safe and inviting environment where my students will be able to construct new knowledge as they interact with each other and the materials in the classroom, take risks as learners and be confident and secure in their learning!
Come for a visit to Room 121...a community of friends and learners!