This week’s Valpo Life in the Spotlight is none other than Kay Magnetti. Magnetti is a second-grade teacher at Northview Elementary. Magnetti has played an influential role in Valparaiso Community Schools and has contributed greatly to school system policies.
Magnetti belongs to a family of educators. Her father was the head of Portage Adult Education while her mother was a first-grade teacher. It is evident that education was greatly emphasized in her family. She expressed that literacy and learning was of utmost importance and was considered a way to be independent. Her parents’ dedication to education truly inspired Magnetti to pursue the field. Magnetti attended Indiana University and obtained a degree in education. She then went to Purdue University to receive her masters.
Magnetti expressed, “I knew nothing but education! I tried other more ‘glamorous’ majors, but I just kept coming back to children and education.”
Magnetti, as well as several other teachers in the Valparaiso Community Schools system, advocate for several policies and programs that can greatly transform educational practices. These changes include the implementation of challenging and developmentally appropriate curriculum. The teachers work tirelessly on formulating writing curriculum and assessments that are aligned with state standards. Additionally, Magnetti is a strong supporter of testing that helps teachers make diagnostic decisions to best help students rather than useless and obsolete testing.
“We advocate for children even when their parents disagree with us,” Magnetti stated, “because we want to try to make a difference for that child.”
Magnetti doesn’t fail to mention that a fair amount of recess and special classes such as art, physical education, and music is necessary for a child’s experience. She also emphasized the importance of providing students with exposure to different fields like language, literature, and technology.
Magnetti said, “These changes are vital because students need and deserve a quality, comprehensive education that helps them develop wholly, not just develop a test score. The problem is, as funds given by the state have decreased, we are less able to provide programs.”
It is evident that Magnetti is passionate about education and has invested a great deal of time and energy into making Valparaiso schools even better than they already are. Magnetti’s favorite thing about teaching elementary students is their love of learning. Elementary students are developing skills and habits that last a lifetime.
“My favorite thing about the elementary level is the “it takes a village” mentality. Our elementary schools encompass the family atmosphere,” Magnetti stated. “In most cases, students are successful when they have support at home. It takes parents, students, teachers, administrators, instructional assistants, etc. to help each child reach his/her full potential.”
Family plays a huge role in Magnetti’s life. In her free time, Magnetti enjoys spending time with her three children, Mia, Michael, and Mary Ellen, who are all students of VCS school system. She loves to read, as well as traveling with her husband Bob. The Magnetti family often travels to their family cottage at Lake Wawasee.
She said, “I beseech anyone interested in education to enter for one real and genuine reason…a love of learning and of students. Anything less is unfair, to yourself and to students.”
In conclusion, it is citizens like Magnetti who strive to our community a better place. Magnetti’s contributions to the education in Valparaiso have been immense, making her truly deserving of this week’s Valpo Life in the Spotlight.