Miss Cacciatore joined the St. Stephen School faculty in 1985 and teaches Pre-Kindergarten. She serves as the Before and After School Coordinator, leads the
Cooking club, coordinates the St. Joseph Day Celebration and organizes a Mothers Day Tea with the children. She has developed a summer school program for incoming Pre-K children.
In pre-K, Miss Cacciatore assures that the children will not only be having “fun” but, in the process, learning many valuable lessons along the way. These include learning independence, building friendships, and establishing routines. They will learn various readiness skills in the areas of math, social science, reading, religion and motor skill development to name a few.
“My philosophy in teaching young children is that they are just that – young children. They need the opportunity to be children and to have lessons and activities that are age-appropriate. Overextending children at this age where they could become frustrated is not only unproductive but sets the stage for learning to be an unpleasant journey. Playing and socializing is how children at this age learn. ‘Hands on’ is very much a part of our Early Childhood Program”.
Miss Cacciatore received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education/Reading from Buffalo State. She also earned a of Masters of Science Degree from Medaille College in Early Childhood and Elementary Education/Reading. While at Medaille she received the Outstanding Educator Award, the Peer Mentor in Education Award and was a Nominee for the Medaille Collegiate Award.
In 2004, Miss Cacciatore was a nominee for the Walt Disney Teacher Hand Award. In 2006, she was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce. She has also been awarded grant funding for Peaceful Playground supplies and stencils for the St. Stephen playground.
Outside of St. Stephen School, Miss Cacciatore has served as a Middle States Evaluator for Accreditation of NYS schools, a Coordinator of After School Programs for the YWCA of Erie County and a Daisy Girl Scout Troop Leader.
Some thoughts from Miss Cacciatore:
In your opinion, what is special about St. Stephen School?
St. Stephens offers a very warm and professional atmosphere. The support of fellow co-workers and administration makes for a very rewarding place to work.
Why did you want to become a teacher/administrator?
I feel that teaching children especially the younger children is very rewarding in that I am setting the stage for future success in the many years of learning that lie head. Young children are so excited and willing to take part in any educational experience and that makes it very rewarding as a teacher.
Do you have a specific goal to achieve through your teaching, a philosophy or desired outcome?
To not only educate the children but the parents as well. Learning is not only academic but social and emotional. Reaching the whole child in the learning process is essential for the development of responsible loving adults. The cooperation between parents and teachers is essential to achieve this goal. It is my hope that every child leaves my classroom happy and ready to learn!
What are you most proud of regarding your teaching experience at St. Stephens?
That I was recognized as Teacher of the Year for a job that I love. I take pride in working at a school that is not only a caring place to be, but enables everyone associated with the school to be the best they can be. We are truly a “family” that cares for one another.
Do your students often participate in certain contests or receive recognition?
Not at this level.