Jannotti Brings her Wealth of Knowledge to Trinity’s Science Department

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Image Courtesy of Romina Jannotti

Dr. Jannotti (2nd from right) stands outside of Governor’s mansion with her family after being invited to an event by then-Florida Governor Rick Scott in 2018.

Andrew Bachrach, NEWS EDITOR

  From her doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, to her “mean rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song,” there seems to be nothing that new Science Department Chair Dr. Romina Jannotti can’t do. Arriving on campus from Hagerty High School, Jannotti brings over 14 years of experience of teaching in Seminole County. Originally from Florida, she did not necessarily begin her career with teaching in mind.

  “When I finished my PhD, we moved back to Florida where I grew up, but within a month of landing back home, I found out I was expecting my first child,” Jannotti said. “Unfortunately, the kind of work that I did, I used to sequence DNA in the days before automation, [which] requires you use radioactive substances, so I didn’t think it was a good idea to expose my child to that.”

After two years of staying at home, Janotti remembered how much she enjoyed being a teaching assistant during graduate school, which helped her decide to go into teaching.

  “I first started at a local massage therapy program teaching biology to students who were going into massage therapy and radiology,” Jannotti said. “One night, I was leaving a class at 11 o’clock at night, one of my students stopped me and said, ‘You know, I wish I would have met you when I was younger.’ That’s when I thought to myself, I’m in the wrong place, I need to be in high school.”

  Janotti said she believes that high school is a crucial time to make an influence on students’ lives, as they are much more moldable. On top of that, as a Latina, Janotti said she didn’t have many science teachers growing up that looked like her, and she wanted to ensure that she fulfilled that role for Latina students.

  Jannotti is ecstatic about bringing her skills and expertise to take Trinity’s science department to a whole new level. She hopes to bring in a style of teaching called Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning, or POGIL, along with other new classes and programs.

  “[In POGIL activities], the student is given a model or a graph or some piece of data, and they have to explore it like a scientist would,” Jannotti said. “The questions gradually grow [in difficulty] to make you invent your own concept or come up with your own definition and then apply that. It’s student-centered, not teacher-centered.”

  Janotti wants to bring in elements of the AP Capstone program to Trinity, where students learn how to better research, provide evidence, hold seminars and write. She aspires to add new science electives like Astronomy, Biotechnology and even Bioinformatics, in order to further the scientific knowledge of TPS students. 

  Jannotti said that more than anything else, she is most excited about reconnecting with her close friend, Social Sciences Teacher Robin Grenz.

  “[Outside of the classroom,] I absolutely love going out for coffee with my best friend Robin Grenz,” Jannotti said. “I love my friends, and I will solve the world’s problems over a pot of coffee on a Saturday morning across from Lake Monroe. That’s my favorite thing to do.”