Life Writes Board of Directors: Meet Johanna Gardiner

Johanna Gardiner joined the Life Writes Project after having a discussion about the organization with Dr. Skillen, co-founder of the Life Writes Project and Johanna’s colleague. Johanna draws inspiration from positive people, and helping students and teachers fulfill their creative potential. She believes strongly in the importance of professional development and the shared learning between teachers and students.

Johanna spent 5 years teaching Pre-K to 2nd grade, and 8 years as a Director of various Child Care centers. For the past 4 years, she has volunteered her time as the chairperson for the Elizabethtown Child Care Center Board of Directors.  Additionally, Johanna spent time working in real-estate, followed by 4 years as an office manager at Franklin and Marshall College. She currently works as the Administrative Assistant for the Education Department at Elizabethtown College. Johanna received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Evangel University, in Springfield, MO.

As a teacher, Johanna was motivated by the growth of her students. Though she had many memorable experiences, her time with one of her first Pre-K classes made a lasting impression. Although the previous teacher did not discipline the students, Johanna was determined to help her students make it to kindergarten successfully, no matter what it took. By the end of the school year, Johanna achieved her goal and gained the praise of her colleagues for accomplishing what those before her could not.

Johanna believes the Life Writes Project provides a fantastic opportunity for young people who want to share their stories. After seeing pictures of the Life Writes Project community writing and art exhibition, Johanna was inspired by the courage of the students who were willing to have their voices heard. By joining the Life Writes Board of Directors, Johanna is excited to have the opportunity to help inspire students and educators to share their stories.

This contribution was made by Christina Ugrovics, senior English: Professional Writing major, French minor at Elizabethtown College, PA.