Meet the Teacher: Lisa Papa teaches Queen Creek students for more than 15 years

Lisa Papa

Name: Lisa Papa

Age: Somewhere over 40.

School: I’m proud to say Jack Barnes Elementary for 16 years.

Why you chose to work in the district: My neighbor, Cheryl Cantor, suggested QCUSD to me. She was working at QCE and I was teaching at East Globe Elementary. Jack Barnes was slated to open and she told me all about QCUSD and I wanted to be part of the great things going on in the district.

What I like most about what I do: What I like most is selfish, I love feeling like I affect the lives of the kids in my classroom, that I help them to grow, to expand their minds, and to love reading and learning. I hope that I show them how important it is to show respect and appreciation, to be courteous and compassionate, and to listen with your heart.

Where did you come from: I came from Bay Shore, New York. I moved to Mesa in 1998 and Queen Creek in 2006.

If I had picked a different occupation it might have been: I think I would have been a writer or a psychologist.
What I’m looking forward to most this school year: Every year I look forward to learning and growing with my students. I look forward to making them see that learning can be fun and exciting.

My vision for the school: My vision for Jack Barnes is a collective vision created and shared by all of our teachers and staff and our principal, Laura Valenciano. At Jack Barnes we strive to create students who love learning, are critical thinkers, who exhibit good character, and who are comfortable both leading and following.

People who inspired me (and how): My parents, Jim and Luisa Amodeo, have always inspired me to be a good person and to follow my dreams. Careerwise I was inspired by several former teachers Mrs. Leddy, Mrs. Moldestad, and Mr. Scalzo. They showed me how important it is to have positive role models in education. I am and have been inspired by many of the past and present teachers at JBE. They have given me ideas, supported me, and helped me grow.

One thing I want students to know about me: I’ve been scuba diving, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks, been to hundreds of concerts, and traveled to Tahiti, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, and 28 states. I’ve worked at McDonald’s, been a waitress, a newspaper delivery girl, an ice cream server, a clerk, a tutor, a teacher’s assistant, a new business processor, and a baker. I played soccer, the clarinet, tenor and alto sax, and the piano though not very well. I’ve climbed up volcanoes and mountains, and down into caverns. I’ve seen 4th of July fireworks over the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, the Everglades, the Alamo, Kitty Hawk, and Chichen Itza. I’ve been to the Aquarium of the Pacific, Disney World, Seaworld, Universal Studios,and of course, the Wizard World of Harry Potter, but none of that is as much a part of me as they are.

One thing I want parents to know about me: I love your children and I am proud to be your partner for a year of your child’s life. I will work with you to help them walk, run, or fly; wherever they are on their educational journey and I want you to know that I think it is just as important to educate the heart and the character as it is to educate them academically.

My advice to today’s youth: My advice is be comfortable being yourself and let others be comfortable being themselves. Become your own best friend. You are living at a time when young people are able to influence each other in so many more ways than when I was young. Social media is huge. Use your power for good. Help each other be more free, more confident, more accepting. Don’t shame or snatch away someone’s love of something by telling them it’s not good enough or not cool enough. Don’t be that person. Choose kind and of course treat each other with respect.

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