Degrees and Certifications:
Grade: K-5 GT Specialist
Hello Martinez students, family and staff! My name is Monica Jastrabin (but everyone calls me Ms. J.) and I'm delighted to be your Gifted and Talented Specialist.
My work in gifted education started serendipitously as a student teacher when I was assigned a 6th grade GT group for the semester. That led to a geology expedition with students the following summer, and my first teaching job in Denver at a school for gifted children. In 1987, I joined District 6 and the GT program at here at Martinez Elementary! Over the span of my educational career, I’ve worked in gifted and talented programs, technology and assessment, coaching, dual-language programs, and Young Child Summer Enrichment programs (SEP) at UNC. I currently serve gifted children, their parents, and teachers in three District 6 Elementary Schools: Martinez, Maplewood and McAuliffe.
As a GT Specialist, I have three primary responsibilities: 1) to collect data and identify students whose abilities and talents require special programming, 2) to work closely with teachers to ensure they have the resources and support they need to instruct gifted students in their classrooms, and 3) to partner with students and their families to support each student's strengths, challenges, and personal goals.
My educational background includes a B.A. in Elementary Education with minors in reading disabilities and music, an M.A. in Agency Counseling, and Doctoral work in School Psychology. I currently hold a Preschool-12th Grade Gifted and Talented Specialist License with the State of Colorado. Some of my other work experiences include counseling, work with teens on juvenile probation, title insurance, and cake decorating.
I love to cook and am passionate about healthy food that tastes good. I also enjoy running, weight lifting, reading, a warm cup of tea, and listening to children laugh!
Thank you for the privilege of working with the Martinez family ~ I'm so glad to be here!