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Grace Protano

Grace Zolla Protano is a retired teacher of English from the Massapequa School District. She lives on Long Island with her husband Nick.

She has extensive experience in curriculum writing.

In 2007, she prepared and wrote the entire English program for the School for Language and Communication Development in Glen Cove, NY. Lesson plans, exams, writing assignments and quizzes were included in this seven-year academic curriculum project. The material was prepared in accordance with the NYS Standards in English.

Grace has been a speaker at various engagements. As a member of the International Women's Writers Guild, she was asked to be on a panel with seven other authors at the National Arts Club across from Gramercy Park in NYC.

After the publication of As Long As You Can See the Clock, You're Okay, she was featured on Blog Talk Radio's Who You Calling Old?

Although Grace is retired from teaching, she is still very involved in local schools. She volunteers her time at the Roosevelt School District. She makes iron-on t-shirts for the students to wear during different school activities and events; she makes fundraising items such as mouse pads and coasters and donates them for school craft fairs. She recently wrote a school-themed musical in which the students and some faculty performed for the enjoyment of the Roosevelt district parents and Hempstead community.

She is a member of the Long Island Writers Guild. At present, she teaches memoir writing in the Massapequa Adult Education program.

This year, Grace is proud to announce a new independent publishing company she is developing which will afford local writers a chance to become published.

Published Works:

Whatever You Say, Ceci: Beyond Teacher Burnout

In this sequel to Absent from Class, the author takes us through the mental travels of Ceci McKinney. We see her struggle with her life at home and we go with her on her "visits." We try to understand her need to make these trips.

Ceci can still make everyone laugh; she can still quote from the classics. We want to hold her hand and guide her, but when she insists on doing things her own way, we can't help but respond, "Whatever you say, Ceci."

Absent from Class

We have all gone to school and we can relate to these students, these situations and to the unforgettably wacky Ceci McKinney. We see her at home; we watch her in school and we understand fully why Mrs. McKinney needs to be absent from class.

Grace Zolla Protano spent many years as an English teacher and can relate to the rewards, the stress, and the excitement of the teaching profession. In those years, she witnessed colleagues thrive in the challenges and colleagues succumb to the pressure.

As Long As You Can See the Clock, You're Okay: South Brooklyn in the '50s

Set mainly in South Brooklyn in the '50s, this memoir is a recollection of growing up with a unique love embodying joy and sadness; pride and shame; tenderness and cruelty.

Sing along with the doo-woppers; drool over the teen idols and cheer through a Rock and Roll Revue at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater. Play Kick the Can, Ringo Levio and Iron Tag until moms look out their windows and announce that dinner is ready.

Grace Zolla Protano was born and raised in South Brooklyn. She incorporates into much of her work the nuances privy to a native of that great borough.

As the author, her experiences with teaching teenagers, raising teenage daughters and being a teenager herself in Brooklyn provide a look into the heart of a kid—with it conflicts, its sadness and its unbridled silliness.

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