Jody Passanisi is our middle school director and the mother of three Hausner students. Read her profile to learn about her background, interesting talents, and her many daily highlights at Hausner.
1. How long have you lived in the Bay Area, where did you come from and what brought you here?
I have lived in the Bay Area my whole life, pretty much. My husband, Sebastian, and I grew up in Alameda in the East Bay. After grad school, we moved to Los Angeles and lived there for 13 years. When I got this position at Hausner we were both thrilled to move back to the Bay Area— I never got used to the heat in LA and it is really great to be back home— and here in the Hausner community.
2. What is your role at Hausner and how long have you been here?
I am Director of Middle School here at Hausner and I am in my fifth year. Besides working with teachers and students in 5-8 grade, I was lucky this year to get to teach trope to the fifth graders— as well as co-run the newspaper elective!
3. What was the highlight of your working week?
There are so many highlights every day: I love working with students in the middle grades— during this time of change and insight to help them reflect and grow from their experiences. My favorite thing is when students take initiative to create new things and take on leadership roles: whether in student council, running clubs, running electives, or planning demonstrations or non-profit drives- I love when students come to me and ask if they can plan something! Not to mention the amazing teaching team we have. I am always so proud to work on this teaching team— the amount of passion, care, and expertise Hausner teachers have is unparalleled.
4. What do you do when you're not at work?
When I am not at work you can usually find me in my favorite chair reading— I LOVE reading— especially books recommended by Jerry or Carol. My favorite time of the week is Saturday nights at the Passanisi house when we have movie night. And of course, I spend a lot of time with my husband Sebastian and our three kids: Levi, Ezra, and Saul (I spend time with the kids both at work AND at home— since all three go to Hausner). I love ballet and take classes every Sunday and try to practice at home on my ballet barre during the week. Finally, I teach a class at Mount St. Mary's University - teaching teachers how to teach social studies.
5. What do you think you would do if you weren't a teacher?
Hmmmmmmm. I love writing— I think that I would be a writer or a forensic psychologist. Before I went to grad school for religious studies I was thinking about going into forensic psychology and I still find that work fascinating.
6. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I trained for a long time to be a singer. I sang musical theatre mostly and some opera. I don't sing much anymore— especially since my kids don't want me to sing them to sleep— now the only times I sing are for special events like weddings or funerals. Oh, and Sebastian and I have known each other since pre-school and even "dated" in middle school.
7. What is your favorite Hebrew word?
My favorite Hebrew word is Tik James Bond — briefcase— I just find that word hilarious and so very descriptive. It makes me happy just to think about how that word came to be, etymologically.