Shari Valencic is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and remains an Indians and Cavs fan 'til the end! Her favorite teacher of all time was Mrs. Barbara Kilker, her 6th grade teacher in Vermilion, Ohio. She moved to Florida in middle school and attended Epiphany Catholic School in Venice for 7th and 8th grade and Cardinal Mooney High School in Sarasota. She was valedictorian of both her 8th grade and high school classes.
Shari attended the University of Notre Dame and has her undergraduate degree in early childhood education from Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). While at SCSU, she was the founding vice president of their chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority and remains an active alumna. Shari obtained her master's degree in science education from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, and earned both her specialist and doctorate degrees in educational leadership from Argosy University in Sarasota. She is certified to teach primary, elementary, middle school, and K-12 special education, and holds state teaching endorsements in both gifted and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) education as well. Shari is also certified to be a school administrator, but has no immediate plans to pursue that venue of the profession.
Shari was trained as a Bank Street School teacher in New York and Connecticut and incorporates many facets of this unique approach in her classroom today. She began her career in Charlotte County Public Schools as a gifted resource teacher for grades 1-5 at Vineland Elementary, and also taught grades 6-8 at Port Charlotte Middle School. In Sarasota County, Shari taught in the 4th and 5th grade AWC programs at Taylor Ranch School and 3rd grade at Pine View School. She begins her 10th year at Venice Elementary in the 5th grade gifted program, having previously taught the 1st grade gifted program and 5th grade there. Her favorite subjects to teach are U.S. geography and social studies, and it's pretty lucky that she gets to teach these in 5th grade! At Venice Elementary, Shari is responsible for the school's yearbook, Indian Lore, and Student Council.
Aside from her classroom responsibilities, Shari is a "teacher teacher" for the school district and independently, through her consultation company called Vutopia. She has authored online teacher certification courses for the State and private enterprise, and helped launch MagnetEd, a new Internet endeavor that assists teachers with their continuing education. Check it out at http://www.magneted.net! One of her favorite part-time pursuits is presenting at state and national teaching conferences. Shari is currently the President of the Florida Association for the Gifted, a statewide organization that advocates for the needs of gifted children. She is also a teaching fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities and Boston Bank and Trust.
Shari spent a great deal of time during the summer of 2012 learning all about different facets of the United Kingdom. She and her daughter Tali visited London and southern England for Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee in June and she participated in a week-long immerision into the War of 1812 in July. She looks forward to sharing what she's learned with her 5th grade students this year, tying everything together with a neat Summer Olympics bow!
The loves of Shari's life are her two daughters, Mariska and Tali, and boyfriend, Tim. Together they have a 65-pound hound dog named Cappy and a scary Halloween cat named Spooky. She likes attending music concerts (she finally saw one of her all-time favorites, KISS, this summer!), visiting U.S. National Parks (summer '12: River Raisin Battlefield, MI; all-time favorite: Sand Dunes National Park, CO). One day, she hopes to live in Venice, Italy, home of the best hot chocolate in the world.