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Voice Recognition

Joanna Freels, Director-at-large

Joanna Freels is a Shelby County school board member

Please share why you decided to run for your local school board.
Education has been my life. At a young age I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I taught school for over 34 years. After I retired from teaching, several community leaders and teachers approached me to run for school board. The school board had not had an educator on it since the 80's. I love working with children and this was a way to continue serving the schools and community. I'm glad I made that decision to run. It has been a very interesting and rewarding experience.

What is your favorite thing about serving on your local board?    
I love visiting the classrooms and schools. I like to get involved with the activities at each school. I think it is important that the teachers and students know the board members and what their role is in the schools. I love it when teachers ask me to come and participate with activities in their classroom.

What activities do you enjoy doing outside your board work?    
I love cross stitching, knitting and all types of needlework. I love to travel in the United States and Europe.

Name someone in your life you admire, or who inspired or helped you along the way.    
There are two people I admire in my life. My Mother, Mollie Sesso, and my daughter, Stephanie Appel. My mother had to become mother and father when my father died before I was born. I always admired how strong she was to carry on after he was gone. My daughter is also very strong. I think this was a trait that was passed down to her by my mother. My daughter developed breast cancer at a young age. All through her treatments she remained strong.

Name a book/magazine/website/publication/etc. that you would recommend to other school board members.
"What School Could Be" by Ted Dintersmith

Please share something about yourself that most people may not know.
I'm half Italian
Joanna Freels
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