By Jill Fox
If being a school principal doesn’t work out, Jo-Anne Misiewicz Seltzer has another career to fall back on – baking.
In addition to being known as the proud principal of Riverglades Elementary School, Seltzer has quite a following for her amazing cupcake creations.
A tradition, which began in 2014, has continued throughout her seven and a half years as principal of the Parkland elementary school.
Each year during teacher appreciation week, Seltzer provides delicious homemade cupcakes for the Riverglades staff to recognize their hard work.
“My parents are both retired teachers,” said Seltzer, whose mother and father taught in New York, in addition to owning a variety of food businesses, like a chocolate shop, delicatessen, and catering company.
She grew up cooking and baking with her family.
While spending one Mother’s Day weekend at her parents’ home in Vero Beach, Seltzer’s mom suggested they bake something for the teachers and staff.
“I love my staff and thought it would be a nice way to show my appreciation,” said Seltzer.
Together they made 400 cupcakes in six different flavors.
Now, with Mother’s Day falling close to teacher appreciation week, it has become a family tradition.
“I get to spend the weekend with my mom and sister doing what we love,” said Seltzer.
Each year, they spend the entire weekend making the cupcakes — baking on Saturday and decorating on Sunday. Then, she loads up the car on Monday morning and drives straight to school.
Seltzer said the staff really looks forward to it, and unfortunately, last year’s “Cupcake Monday” was canceled due to Covid.
This year, her family baked 2,000 cupcakes in 18 different flavors. Seltzer’s favorites are strawberry and Butterfinger, but she said lemon is the most popular.
Word spread, and so did the cupcakes. Now, Seltzer delivers her fancy treats to other staff members in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas zone.
“Like Mrs. Seltzer’s staff, I look forward to her red velvet cupcakes every year,” said Park Trails Elementary School Principal Arlene Manville. “When she is ready to retire from the school district, she should open a cupcake shop.”
One Riverglades mom who recently found out about “Cupcake Monday” was very impressed with Seltzer’s modesty.
“She made 2,000 cupcakes, and she’s not shouting it from the rooftops,” said Julia Hill, mom to Westin, 6 and Kennedy, 4. “She’s a really involved principal, and this just goes above and beyond.”
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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