My word for 2016 is PRESENT

I am constantly learning from my students. They continue to inspire me long after our time in the classroom together. Recently, one of my former students shared something that prompted me to choose a word to define my new year. It seemed so simple — a word. Not a list of to do’s, not a complicated […]

La mia mamma

My mom, Rosa Giuseppina Ianniello, was born on July 2, 1938 in the small town of Recale, Caserta in the Campania region of Italy. She is an incredible woman who has endured more tragedy than most, but you wouldn’t know it from the big smile she still greets everyone with to this day. Growing up […]

I miei cugini

i miei cugini, my cousins, who are like brothers to me   I have always wanted brothers. Big brothers to tease me, protect me and love me. My Zia Ninuccia had three sons, my dear cousins Enzo, Orazio and Nicola…. From the moment I walked through their portone to the moment I left, they lovingly […]

Zia Ninuccia

This is my aunt, Maddalena Santoro, or as I affectionately called her, Zia Ninuccia.  She was the beloved owner of her own market in Casagiove, Italy, and the inspiration for Casagiove, California. I loved my zia.  I loved the way she embraced us when we came into town, and I loved how she made everyone […]