Gianna Cassetta


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Gianna grew up in NYC’s East Harlem, where she also began her teaching career. In NYC’s District 2, she developed the framework for her beliefs about learner centered communities for both children and adults. Gianna’s passion for the teaching and learning process, and her commitment to whole child focused opportunities for all students led her to co-found and lead public, charter conversion, and charter schools in Harlem, New York, and in Denver, Colorado.


She also worked as Director of Leadership Development for Denver Public Schools’ Office of New Schools, where she shepherded new school developers through the application and start up process, and as Director of Literacy Services at Generation Ready, where she supported principal, coach, and teacher development during the implementation of professional learning projects. Because cultivating leadership in others is central to her practice, Gianna is becoming a certified coach, focused on developing leadership capacity through an emotional intelligence lens.


Her belief in supporting the whole child, so they can grow into independent and fulfilled contributors to a better world, has led her to co-author two Heinemann books, Classroom Management Matters: The Social and Emotional Learning Approach That Children Deserve, and No More Taking Away Recess and Other Problematic Discipline Practices. Her third, The Children You Can’t Reach, will be released in the spring of 2019.


Gianna also authored Literacy Centers: A Standards Based Approach for Grades 3 and Beyond and is featured in accompanying instructional videos on effective literacy practices, including Step into Guided Reading, for the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s Learning Media.


Gianna is committed to contributing to a more humane and just world for people and animals alike. She serves on the Massachusetts State Council of the Humane Society of the United States. Gianna lives with her husband and two sons, and her ever growing non-human family of adopted dogs, cats, chickens and horses, and occasionally, a guest foster dog.