Joanne Grove has been teaching at Tanque Verde Elementary for 25 years. She will be retiring at the end of this school year.
Grove started in a part-time job with the district and worked as a substitute before she began teaching full time. This year, she co-teaches a fifth-grade class with Sharon Plaisted.
Grove and Plaisted have been co-teaching for a few years now, which Grove calls “the best of both worlds” as it allowed her to stay in the classroom but also spend time with her two grandchildren.
While she likes to read all genres, Grove says she especially loves to read historical fiction. Which makes sense, as she says she most enjoys teaching reading and history. She says that good communication helps her and Plaisted transition smoothly in the classroom and split their duties 50/50. “It’s been very seemless,” Grove reports.
“Mrs. Grove works so hard every day to keep her class quiet and mannerly,” writes student and nominator Kaylie, who adds that her teacher “has a never-ending patience bucket!”
Grove was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She followed her two children to Arizona when they came to school here, she explains.
Part of the motivation for her to start working at Tanque Verde was the desire to meet people as she was new to the community. She says she found it to be “a very welcoming place.”
She takes advantage of her desert home by spending her free time outdoors. “It’s a great community for walking and hiking,” says Grove.
On at least one occasion, the outdoors ended up inside the classroom, and it was a wild time with some native wildlife. “There was a baby rattlesnake in the room once...and everybody ran for the hills,” recalls Grove.
Grove encourages students to “work hard, be kind, and to read, read, read!” That’s good advice for everyone.