After 34 years in San Mateo County schools, Rosanna Myres is saying “ciao” to teaching.
Myres, who emigrated from Italy to San Francisco at the age of 8, has been teaching kindergarten at Cipriani Elementary School in Belmont for the past 18 years and also taught at Lomita Park School and Sharp Park School. Awarded the “Lois Guthrie Award for Exemplary Education in San Mateo County” and “Educator of the Year for the Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District,” Myres has interacted with the more 700 students.
“It’s very, very difficult to leave teaching,” she said. “But I will be connected to teaching children through volunteer work. … I have a brand-new baby granddaughter and I’m just being pulled. I love her to death and want to be part of her life.”
Myres, 64, received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Francisco State University before getting her teaching credential there as well.
“I really can relate to the children who are non-English speaking,” she said. “I know what they’re going through; that’s been another benefit of being a teacher.”
A few of her lessons included teaching about heart health using real sheep hearts, showing students statistics about how many young people have heart disease because of what they eat.
“I wanted them to really get a grasp about what this is about,” she said. “It really does make a difference in what you put in your body; it’s a big hit.”
She also would transform the playhouse area into pet hospitals, grocery stores and Chinese restaurants throughout the year to teach vocabulary, money management, counting, using chopsticks, making reservations, learning their phone numbers and other skills.
“Through these game activities, I get them to do lots and lots of reading and writing,” she said.
Myres has lived in Burlingame with her husband Jess Myres and their two children for 30 years.
Parents say that Myres will be missed. Parent Marit Hsich recounted how on the first day of school one year she was scheduled for a C-section for her third child and was nervous about her first who was entering kindergarten at the same time.
“I didn’t know Rosanna, but I began to cry, as my mom had recently passed away and the emotions of such big events without her weighed so heavily upon me that day,” she wrote in an email. “Dear Mrs. Myres knew just what to do to calm both me and my daughter. … Being a student in Mrs. Myres classroom is like Christmas every day. … Tears as I write, as just knowing Rosanna is among the walls of school makes me, as a crazed mother of three busy children, feel calmed and safe.”
Other parents shared their appreciation for Myres as well.
“Our daughter started her education with a kind and beautiful teacher our family will remember for the rest of our lives,” wrote Scott and Julie Barton in an email. “She brought magic to her classroom through her passion for her ‘kids,’ love of teaching and creativity. She taught children to love learning and made her students and their parents better people.”
Another parent, Annette Robinson, had three children in Myres’ class.
“I had the opportunity to work in her class many, many times and the ease in which she calms a crying child or soothes an incident between two children all without a raise in her voice and with a smile on her face (I always refer to her as the ‘child whisperer’) is amazing,” Robinson wrote in an email. “Within the first few weeks of school, she knows each student and their individual personalities and needs and by the end of the year, she sends them off to first-grade but never without a tear and a smile. … Rosanna has started all of her students’ education with the best foundation they could ever have and for that and all her love to my kids, I will be forever thankful.”
June 25 will be Myres’ last day of school. Once done with school — aside from spending time with her new granddaughter — Myres plans to travel and spend time with friends.
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