First Grade

Alycia Prekaski

aprekaski@sjsissaquah.org

I am a Seattle girl! I grew up around Green Lake and attended both Saint Catherine of Siena School and Bishop Blanchet High School. After high school I chose to attended Washington State University and earned my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

After undergrad, I went to South Africa and worked as a teacher’s assistant for an after-school program called The Pebbles Project. That is where I found my love of teaching! I returned to the USA and went to WSU for my Masters in Teaching and WA State Teaching Certificate.

I love to travel and wanted to wait to settle-down in a classroom position so I took a alternative position through Pacific Science Center’s Science On Wheels program. I taught K-8 science across WA, ID and AK. I absolutely loved traveling and met some wonderful people along my journey. However, I missed the relationships I had with students as a classroom teacher.

I accepted a 5th grade teaching position at Taholah School on the Quinault Reservation. I moved to the Olympic Peninsula and had a vast array of experiences in my two years there. While I loved the school and Quinault community, I missed my family, friends and being close to a city.

I was thrilled to accept my 1st grade teaching position at Saint Joseph School in 2014. Saint Joseph School is a very special place. The positive atmosphere, parent and administrative support and the love of the kids are things I absolutely treasure at this school!

1st graders grow so much during the course of our nine months together. They learn to read, grow from writing one sentence to writing chapter books and enhance their critical thinking skills ten-fold. It is incredible to be part of that development.

As a teacher I believe in creating a positive atmosphere for my students. I teach using positivity, enthusiasm and love! As I love to travel, I do my best to teach my students how to appreciate each other’s differences, cultures and needs. Being a runner and an outdoor enthusiastic, I also understand that my students need to move and explore the world in different ways. We love Go Noodle and “nature walks” in 1st grade!

My students make me smile every day. It is an absolute blessing to be a teacher. Rarely do you find a profession where you look forward to waking up for work every day. I am fortunate to have found that here at Saint Joseph School and with my fabulous 1st grade students!

Tracy Vanicek

Vanicek Tracy

tvanicek@sjsissaquah.org

I grew up in Yakima, Washington. I attended Saint Paul Cathedral School from the first grade until eighth grade graduation. After graduating from Central Washington University, I returned to Saint Paul Cathedral School as a third-grade teacher. I had the rare opportunity to teach with my second-grade teacher, who became a mentor and dear friend.

I attended Yakima Valley Community College and Central Washington University. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a minor in Reading.

I have been married for sixteen years. My husband and I have four beautiful children; Henry, Eleanor, Abigail and Liam. We also have a beloved dog, Mr. Pickles. Our family loves to travel. Disneyland (for the third time) or a cruise may be our next adventure.

I have been teaching for several years. I taught kindergarten for a year and third grade for six and half years. I spent a couple years subbing until my husband and I started our family. In the 2016-2017 school year, I started teaching technology at Saint Joseph’s School. I am now happily teaching first grade.

I love teaching first grade. When first graders walk into the classroom they are excited and ready to learn. Everything is new for them and they embrace the curriculum. I enjoy seeing their eyes light up when they learn something new. They love to sing, dance, read, do math problems and write creative stories. They even enjoy my singing and guitar playing. Each day in first grade brings something new. There is not one day that looks like the other. It is wonderful!