Bronco Spotlight: Nichole Landino

Photo of Nichole Landino

Bachelor of Science in child and family development, 2016

Lead Teacher with Great Start Readiness Program at Kent Intermediate School District 

I teach preschool aged students preparing them for Kindergarten. Students attending the Great Start Readiness Program are considered at-risk, and many of the families are living below the national levels for poverty. Some of the tasks my job involves are planning curriculum, keeping documentation and observations of student growth and progress, and educating parents on how to engage their child in learning at home. 

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is sending children on to Kindergarten knowing they are prepared for the next step in their education. Knowing that many of my students enter preschool not speaking English and/or having no knowledge of letters or numbers; it is rewarding knowing that many leave knowing letters and the sounds they make, having the ability to count and recognize numbers and also many of my students can not only write their names at the end of the school year but are beginning to write and sound out words. 

What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career? 

My time at Western challenged me. A professor that pushed me to be my best and to do my best work was Professor Bryce Dickey. She doesn't just let you slide by in her classes but it's to help mold you into a professional in the field. Professor Dickey encourages you to push your bias, and put out a great product that employers will recognize as high quality. The work I did in Professor Dickey's classes I would be proud to share with any future employer to show my skills and capabilities. 

What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?

Use your internships to guide your decisions about careers. I had two internships to complete my degree, the first was in a preschool setting and the second was spent at the Department of Health and Human Services with Child Protective Services. I am so grateful to have both experiences because they showed me that I wanted to work in a setting where I could teach young children but also I wanted the opportunity to help families. I learned a lot at CPS and also at Western about early intervention and reunification of families and I feel that I can help families in my current career by teaching them about positive discipline and the resources they have available. 

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