Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Jan Vallone is the granddaughter of Sicilian immigrants who sailed to Ellis Island in the early 1900s. They passed on to Jan a zeal for everything Italian, from Botticelli to Montepulciano to gelato di pistacchio.
Jan’s parents, a lawyer and a teacher, were among the first in their clans to go to college. The legacy they left their daughter was a lifelong love of school. Jan holds four degrees: a Bachelor’s of Arts from Bucknell University, a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, a Master’s in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Jan has also done graduate work in writing and literature at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.
Jan has put her education to good use. After lawyering for eighteen years in Manhattan and Seattle, she became an English teacher at a tiny yeshiva high school. Jan loves working with students and watching them grow. To her, doing so is gold and silver, red roses and yellow sunflowers, fine wine and warm bread. At the yeshiva, Jan and her students founded a literary journal rated excellent by The National Council of Teachers of English. Currently, she teaches writing in Seattle, Washington, and Rome, Italy.
Jan especially enjoys writing and teaching writing. Her stories have appeared in Faith & Values in the Public Square, Good Letters, The Seattle Times, Catholic Digest, Guideposts Magazine, English Journal, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Writing it Real and Curriculum in Context. Pieces of Someday: One Woman’ s Search for Meaning in Lawyering, Family, Italy, Church, and a Tiny Jewish High School is Jan’s first full-length book. It was released in December 2013 and was the recipient of the Reader Views Reviewers’ Choice Award.
When Jan is not writing, reading or teaching, she delights in gardening, yoga, Italian language study, traveling and spending time with her husband, children, friends and cat.