Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Susan Yardley Vagnino


Welcome Students and Parents,

I am excited about beginning my seventh year with SLPS, teaching 5th grade at Betty Wheeler Classical Junior Academy! I am not a new teacher. I have been a teacher for over 30 years. Most of my teaching experience has been in private, independent schools. I have a BA from Washington University in Psychology with a focus on developmental and cognitive psych and an MEd in Elementary and Early Childhood Education.  I completed my Gifted Certification through University of Missouri, Columbia in January, 2020.

I am the youngest of 5 children. I was born in Cocoa Beach, Florida during America's Space Race. My father was an astronautical engineer who worked on the Mercury and Gemini Projects. My family moved to St. Louis when I was 3 and I lived in Chesterfield. When I was 10, my family moved to Washington, DC because my father was working on the Space Shuttle Program for NASA. After the Shuttle launched in 1981, my family returned to St. Louis. 

I love dogs and I have three! Eli, my black Lab/Great Dane Mix and Lola and Luigi, my two mini Dachshunds. I also like cats and I have one named Birthday. I love to read fiction and non-fiction and have been in a book club for over 25 years. I enjoy drawing and painting and I am always eager to see new exhibits and classical art at SLAM or in local galleries. To stay active, I enjoy walking my dogs and going on bike rides. My husband and I spend time cooking, traveling and watching movies together. We have four children who are adults, three boys and one girl. 

My Philosophy: I believe how students feel in a classroom is one of the most important factors that impact their growth and learning. I believe my job is to create a safe place for students to feel comfortable to try things out, speak their minds, and take risks in their efforts to learn. To accomplish this, I like to take time to try and get to know my students and their families. I strive for my students to build relationships with one another through games, class meetings, and providing time to socialize.  

Warm Regards,


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