Joanna Stoltz - Advisor, Teacher, Mentor, and Friend
Joanna Stoltz is in her fourth year of teaching sixth and seventh grade English at Gerstell Academy. She has also served as an eighth grade advisor for all four years, which includes coordinating the eighth grade graduation ceremony each June. Additionally, she assists in coordinating the annual Middle School Spelling Bee, and serves as a chaperone on the week-long field trip for sixth graders to the Chincoteague Bay Field Station on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
Her realization that she loves spending time teaching and mentoring students came at a young age, while working as a summer camp counselor at Camp Mantowagan in Saxton, PA throughout high school and college.
She received her Bachelor of Art’s degree in English Literature from Geneva College in 2012, and then spent two years substitute teaching in Pennsylvania, which solidified her decision to pursue a career in education. Ms. Stoltz moved to Maryland in 2014 after being accepted to the University of Maryland’s one year intensive Master’s Certification Program. After a year-long internship in Howard County Public Schools and a long-term substitute position in Frederick County Public Schools, she earned her Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, which led to accepting a position at Gerstell.
Ms. Stoltz approaches each day with passion, conviction, and persistence and takes the learning of her students seriously. She makes a conscious effort to make learning engaging and fun through games, activities, videos, songs, and creative projects. Her biggest achievement is seeing struggling students make great progress from when they first enter her class in sixth grade to when they leave her room on the last day of seventh grade. She believes that progress comes not only in the form of academic success, but also in social, emotional, and maturity growth that often marks the life of a middle school student. Her favorite thing is when former students and advisees stop in to just to say hello or to ask her for help.
In her free time, Ms. Stoltz enjoys spending time with friends and family, attending yoga classes, hiking, and traveling to National Parks. She is inspired by the words of Portrait Leader Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens): “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”