A Q&A with Janet Skooglund

Sheri Taggar and her daughter, Elizabeth, nominated Janet Skooglund for Class Acts. Taggar said when she dropped Elizabeth off in the morning she had nothing to worry about for the rest of the day. Skooglund not only prepares her students academically, but also teaches them how important manners are in life. She is warm and nurturing and loves every student in her class.

  • Name: Janet Skooglund
  • Age: 54
  • Hometown: Hughson
  • Occupation: First-grade teacher at Agnes Baptist School
  • Family: Husband, Stan, postmaster of Ceres
  • Background: Born and raised in Modesto. Graduated from Grace Davis High School, Modesto Junior College and California State University, Stanislaus.
  • Teaching experience: Received a teaching credential from California State University, Stanislaus, and has taught for 32 years in the Stanislaus Union School District.

Why did you get into teaching? I enjoy working with children and had great role models, including my father, Calvin Grover (counselor at Downey High School), Mrs. Sammy Jenkins and Mrs. Clara Azevedo (teachers at Grace Davis High School).

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher? Receiving children into the classroom in September and watching them grow and mature throughout the year. I really enjoy meeting past students, and having them share with me their current life and activities.

What is the most challenging part of your job? Ensuring that each child develops a life-long interest in learning.

What's next in your classroom? Red Ribbon Week and fire safety activities with Modesto firemen.

Advice for new teachers: Enjoy teaching, realize that each student is unique and never give up on a child.

Advice for students: Always try, think of others and do your best. What you do today will determine what you will achieve tomorrow.

Advice for parents: Listen to, talk with and spend time with your child.

Future plans: I love teaching first- graders, and hope to continue in that capacity for several more years.

How do you reach students not interested in school? Make learning enjoyable and show them that learning is in their best interest throughout their life.

What would surprise people about your job? It's 24 hours a day and 12 months a year. You're always thinking and planning for your students.

What did you do on your summer vacation? Worked on my almond ranch.


"Class Acts" is a weekly spotlight on outstanding teachers in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and foothills.

If you would like to nominate someone, please send his or her name and contact information, along with your name, phone number and the reason for the nomination, to jhanks@modbee.com.