Coordinator of Teacher Education
Contact & Office Hours
Jillian DiBonaventura is the coordinator of teacher education in the Department of Education and Child Study at Smith College. She earned her bachelor of music from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, cum laude, and her master’s in middle school education from Worcester State University, magna cum laude. Before coming to Smith, she spent 26 years as a classroom educator working in both urban and suburban schools in Massachusetts.
DiBonaventura began her teaching career as a music educator, leading both band and choir as well as teaching general classroom music. She coordinated the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, which supported students who would be the first in their families to attend college. The program was recognized as one of distinction, garnering the attention of the AVID center (San Diego), who then invited DiBonaventura to join their team as a staff developer for AVID Summer Institute. It was there that she discovered her passion for teacher education.
This passion for teaching teachers culminated in her work as an adjunct professor at Fitchburg State University, where she taught elementary science methods. DiBonaventura has also dabbled in curricular design, which resulted in a course called Demystifying the Art & Science of Teaching, designed as a series of workshops to draw in new talent to the education major for American International College.
DiBonaventura has a particular interest in inquiry-based teaching methodology and in incorporating the latest in brain research into how students learn. She also has a passion for supporting students through differentiated instruction methods and believes that all students can succeed in a rigorous course of study with the appropriate level of support. “My job is your success,” is a personal mantra that brings her to the teacher licensure pathway here at Smith.