After attending parochial schools for 16 years, Janelle Kross felt it was only natural to apply for a teaching position in Catholic education.
Being offered her first full-time job at St. James School in Washington in 1971 was a gift, she said. It offered the opportunity “to fall in love with teaching and experience the rewards of teaching in Catholic schools.”
Now a high-school religion and middle-school math teacher at Prince of Peace Schools in Clinton, a city where Kross has taught in parochial schools for 24 years, she’s found that teaching isn’t just her job. “It’s a calling from God to minister to youth.”
She works to fulfill that calling by teaching Scripture, Tradition, God’s message of love and the beliefs of the Catholic religion in-depth. Discussing how issues of morality and justice relate to students shapes youths into people of faith, she believes.
“I know that I was shaped into who I am by attending Catholic schools. My experience was so positive in terms of faith development and the high quality of academics.… The faith-filled BVM Sisters left a powerful mark on me. We were expected to develop our God-given talents and perform our best. I try to instill these values in my own students.”
Her colleagues do, too, Kross said. “The emphasis on quality education is a factor of Catholic education that I really appreciate. I am amazed at the creativity and dedication of my fellow teachers and administration to make learning meaningful.”
The desire to make learning meaningful for her three daughters was another reason she entered Catholic education after moving to Clinton. She and her husband, Ed Kross, believed her teaching in a parochial school would “help provide this choice of education for local children and our own girls. The decision has involved financial sacrifice for our family, so I am especially grateful I have always had their support.”
She’s also grateful that her faith has grown as she’s witnessed to students, participated in faculty retreats and taken part in other activities at Prince of Peace. “Being part of this faith community has been such a blessing to me.”