By, Rohit Vakkalagadda ’24
For many sophomores and juniors, Mrs. Janisse, one of Bellarmine’s new science teachers, is an important new member of the Bellarmine community. This exclusive interview with Mrs. Janisse provides some information that could help you know Mrs. Janisse better!
Q: What classes are you teaching this year?
“I teach 3 periods of Honors Chemistry, and 2 periods of College Prep Chemistry.”
Q: How has the teaching experience been at Bellarmine so far?
“The science department has to be the best department with regards to my colleagues. I work with Mr. Janda and Mr. Cheng. I know a lot about chemistry but I’m learning how to be an effective teacher from two of the best.”
Q: What about the students? How have students, in your eyes, adjusted to in-person instruction?
“I feel fortunate to be able to teach so many great students! It’s getting better now, but in the beginning it was hard for students to remember how to study for a quiz or a test. Now, students have now started to remember how to prepare and it’s getting a lot smoother. I mean, the amount of organization that so many students have to face now is a lot. It’s not ‘roll out of bed, roll into a chair and attend class’ anymore. It’s a lot more now, with driving to school and everything. Life’s a lot more complicated this year.”
Q: Why did you decide to start teaching?
“I had worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 20 years, as a development chemist. Then, I had two children and had the opportunity to stay home. When they went to school, I helped out in their class and taught as a substitute. They always needed chemistry and math substitutes, and after 4 years, I got my credentials in Santa Clara last year. I was actually a student during COVID, so when it comes to teaching, I’m a lot like you guys, trying to navigate the profession after the pandemic.”
Q: Is there any particular reason that you chose to teach at Bellarmine?
“I grew up in this area, and I had always heard about Bellarmine’s reputation as a symbol of excellence in education. I really love to teach Chemistry Honors, or higher level chem, so it was the perfect place.”
Q: What is something you look forward to doing in the future at Bellarmine?
“In future years, I’m looking forward to teaching an organic chemistry elective class. Right now, I’m really looking forward to attending a football game. For my family, since my husband’s entire family attended Saint Francis, I can’t wait for the rivalry basketball game between Bell and Saint Francis later this year!”
Hopefully, this interview answered some of the questions you might have had about Mrs. Janisse. Like all of us, she was also a student during the pandemic and is really excited to teach Chemistry Honors and College Prep Chem this year!