Gifted Program


Teacher: Mrs. Patricia Valaisis


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Mrs. Pat Valaisis, who graduated cum laude with a Master of Arts (History) from Missouri Southern College, Joplin Missouri, and a Masters in Reading from Southwest Missouri State, has 44 years teaching experience.  Orignally from Missouri, she moved to Rockford in 1981.  After 30 years teaching history, English, and literature in the regular classroom at St. James, she initiated the gifted English and literature program for eighth graders.

An innovative teacher, she awlays incudes higher thinking skills and how to learn in her instructions which are tailored to her students' needs.  The relaxed, yet attentive atmosphere in the small group setting encourages her students to participate fully in preparing for the honor classes at Boylan.  An avid reader and learner herself, she encourages her students to look at ideas found in literature in a new way.  Confident that students can be successful throughout high school and college if they become independent learners, she encourages student responsibility for learning.

A parishioner of St. James Church, she enjoys seeing her current and previous students at Mass.  She believes it is important for the students to see her participating in worship at Church as well as in the classroom.  Students are encouraged to see God as a vital part of their endeavors to utilize the gifts God has given them.

Widowed, she lives alone and spends her spare time reading, gardening, playing free cell on the computer, and learning new things.  In the past, that included gourmet cooking, flower arranging and painting with watercolors.

Wishlist:  computer laptops for each student