Janniello, who received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Iona College, a master’s in psychology from Long Island University and a second master’s in special education from the College of New Rochelle, began working at the Coleman School while she was still finishing her schooling. Janniello first started as a teacher’s assistant in what was supposed to be a temporary position, but was hired full-time soon after. “I was thrilled because I fell in love with the school immediately,”
Maureen Tomkiel, Executive Director of the John A. Coleman School, doesn’t chalk it all up to fate, however. “From the moment I met Daniela, I knew she possessed the rare qualities of an exceptional teacher. You can feel the connection she has with her students as soon as you step into her classroom; her energy and passion are truly contagious!” Tomkiel said.
This energy, Janniello explains, comes naturally. “I spend about six hours a day with my students, getting to know them and their different personalities, and also – for those who have them – their disabilities,”
As for the students in her class without special needs? “You cannot start teaching about differences and empathy early enough. Students who graduate from the Coleman School leave with the understanding that each and every one of us is different in our own special way and they accept one another,” Janniello said.
Despite being the one in the role of teacher who works to instill such valuable, life-long lessons in her students, Janniello insists that teaching is not just a one-way street in her classroom. “These children teach me something new each and every day and I don’t ever want to stop learning!” she said. “What I see for the next 20 years is continuing as ‘Miss Daniela’ in Classroom 8!”
Janniello lives in Portchester, N.Y. with her husband, Vincent, and their dog Toby.
About the John A. Coleman School
The John A. Coleman School, with campuses in White Plains and Yonkers, provides community and center-based special education and therapeutic programs to children from birth to 21 years of age from over 50 school districts in Westchester, Putnam, the Bronx and Manhattan. The Yonkers Campus serves the residents of the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, a nationally recognized pediatric long term care facility. The Coleman School has been recognized for the last six years as a School of Excellence by the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) and is regionally known for its comprehensive evaluation component, early intervention services and inclusive nursery school, Children’s Place. The Coleman School serves over 900 children and their families. Learn more about the John A. Coleman School at setonpediatric.org/