JiJi Fortin, better known as Miss JiJi in Pagosa Springs, graduated from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 2008 with a B.A. in Psychology. During her undergraduate years, Miss JiJi was competitive swimmer specializing in distance events (500-free, 1000-free, the mile-free, 200-butterfly), a competitive cross-country runner, as well as her college's school mascot (GO FALCONS!). During the summer months, she would share her passion for swimming as the Assistant Head Coach of the Pflugerville Piranha's for 10 seasons.
Previous to becoming an Elementary Special Education Teacher, Miss JiJi spent 4 years with the Texas Department of Aging & Disability Services as a Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional. She worked with young female adults with intellectual disabilities by helping to build individualized programs based on their vocational skills and abilities. She also spent those years helping the young female population learn independent living skills and find housing placement in community group homes. It was during this time that she felt her calling to Special Education to help establish strong foundations for students' futures.
Miss JiJi has been a Special Education Teacher since going on 5 years. She began in Killeen, Texas where she spent her internship year working in the Communications, Academics, Social Skills Development (CAS-D) Program. From there, she moved on to Leander, Texas where she worked in the Structured Learning Environment Program. In December 2013, Miss JiJi came on a ski trip with friends to Pagosa Springs and fell in love! God moved some mountains and the Center-Based Special Education teaching position opened. 8 months later she made the move to Pagosa Springs with her two dogs, Butter and Jacey.
In her spare time, Miss JiJi loves spending time with her two dogs, Butters & Jacey. Some of her favorite outdoor Pagosa activities are hiking, backpacking, camping, and snow skiing. She also loves to cook and spend time with friends.