Jill Claire Rakowicz


Age: 39

Lives: Gettysburg

From: Taylor, Pa. (outside of Scranton which everyone knows because of “The Office”)

Educated at: Shippensburg U for my BFA in art, Kutztown U for my art ed cert, University of the Arts for my MEd

Family: Parents, Diane and Len; Younger Sister, Leslie; Partner, Damon

Job: Art educator in the Littlestown Area School District at Alloway Creek Elementary where I teach approximately 850 kiddos a year

Job’s reward: My reward is seeing what amazing things happen when my students have full control over the Creative Process.

Job’s frustrations: I only see each class 30 times a year if I’m lucky. It’s frustrating when there’s so much more to explore and we can’t find the time to get it all accomplished.

Very first job was: Ski technician at Montage Mountain Ski Resort in Scranton

Favorite food: Seriously dark chocolate and coffee (coffee’s totally a food, right?)

Pets: two mutts: Strummer and Chelsea and one old orange tabby cat, Jakob

Heros: I see many kiddos who have a lot on their plate in life at such a young age. They still manage to come to school with a smile and face the day. They are truly inspirational.

Hobbies: Making healthy, plant based versions of recipes, painting, Crossfit, dancing

Pet peeves: Drama Llamas

Collects: Vintage Pyrex

Best friend: My sister, Leslie

Your first memory: Although it’s not my first, I remember rolling over a bumblebee on my toddler bike. My mother was hanging clothes on the line and turned and said, disapprovingly, that the bumblebee couldn’t go home to his family. I felt so incredibly terrible and from then on, I would release any bees/bugs I found in the house back outside to be with their families.

Trait inherited from parents: Creativity from both parents: Love of all good food and cooking from my mother; handyman abilities from my father

Piece of advice that you live by: Karma. I truly believe what goes around comes around; not that we should need an incentive to put our best selves forward.

Who needs a hug? I find a lot of people do. I like to join my friends in the Free Mom Hugs group. Even though I’m not a mom, hugs are needed!

Favorite reading/author: I don’t know if I have a favorite but I’m currently reading The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.

Favorite spot on earth: Anywhere in nature in front of a vast body of water…

Website you visit most: Chocolate Covered Katie. She makes the most UH. MAZE. ING. desserts and they are all plant based!

Would like concert tickets to see: I would like to rewind time and see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Red Rocks Amphitheatre…

One bad habit: Marshall’s. Marshall’s is bad.

3 items on your bucket list: See a Dia de los Muertos celebration (I think it’s a beautiful way to remember loved ones that have passed), Run an Ultra Marathon, Travel to Iceland

Five minutes with: My grandmother who passed away a year ago so I can say goodbye

What skill or lesson would you like to learn? I’d love to speak Spanish fluently so I can chat with some of my students and my friends in Nicaragua. It’s such a beautiful language!

What would people find surprising about you? I played roller derby with the Black Rose Rollers from when they formed in 2010 for about three years under the name, April May Dismember. I played the pivot position (controlling the speed of the pack) and only broke my tailbone during my 3 years on the team.

What would make this world a better place? The world could be a better place if we all had a little more empathy. It’s too easy to get caught up in our “bubble” and not see things through the eyes of another.

What is the best piece of news you received lately that you would like to share? I’m writing this on a snow day. I’d say the call that announced our snow day is pretty awesome.

How would you like to be remembered? Hopefully I’ll be remembered for my enthusiasm, not for solely my passions, but also for the little things in life like this gorgeous snow that I’m watching softly fall outside the windows. I get as excited as a kiddo for even the smallest things. I hope it’s contagious to the highest degree!

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