Mrs. Jill Bastian was born in Columbus, Ohio. She has been in Seminole County since 1991. She and her husband Jay, have two grown children, Danielle and Jason, both products of Seminole County Public Schools. Danielle is employed at the Art Institute of Washington D.C. and Jason works for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This is Mrs. Bastian’s 15th year of teaching. She began her career at Dommerich Elementary School in Maitland, Florida. She came to Seminole County in 2002 and with the exception of one year, where she taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at Markham Woods Middle, she has been teaching 5th grade at Woodlands Elementary.
A 1998 graduate of the University of Central Florida, Mrs. Bastian was selected and awarded the David Watts Scholar as an outstanding future educator. She was invited to speak before the Florida Education Commission on the role and value of internship in the classroom. A 2011 graduate of Walden University, Mrs. Bastian earned a Masters Degree in Education, Specializing in Science K-8. While at Walden she was the first recipient to receive the Ann ‘Tunky’ Riley Excellence in Education scholarship, in honor of Richard W. Riley, the former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s wife, for educators who stand out due to their superior contributions to their students, colleagues, schools, and communities. Mrs. Bastian is currently earning her endorsement in Gifted Education. She is a life-long learner.
Mrs. Bastian embraces the opportunity to learn and teach half-a-world away. When Mrs. Bastian is not teaching in Florida, she is teaching in Africa. Since 2002 Mrs. Bastian has traveled to Namibia and South Africa to teach students math and science. After returning home from her first trip, she wanted to make service learning an integral part of her own classroom connecting students to their community through positive and meaningful opportunities. She started a Kids Care Club at Woodlands, offering a series of after-school projects to encourage students to volunteer in the community. To date, they’ve offered assistance with focus on homelessness, literacy, and hunger. Kids Care Club continues to thrive today.
During her past missions to Africa Mrs. Bastian started three Kids Care Clubs, one in Cape Town, and two clubs located in squatter’s camps, home to over 100,000 families in poverty in Khayelitsha, South Africa and the Okahandja Samaritan Network in Namibia. Through her teaching and service-learning at home and abroad, Mrs. Bastian hopes to effect lasting social change.
“I believe I am most alive while in the classroom surrounded by children. I so enjoy their curiosity and the enthusiasm they bring each day. Creating learning opportunities which focus on the whole child, providing both voice and choice in their learning, motivates and energizes the dynamics within our classroom. Each day offers authentic opportunities for teaching and learning. To me, there is no greater profession than the field of education.”