Mrs. Nuzzi Trades in her Teaching Job for New Sea Legs

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Brandie Nuzzi has always been a favorite among both the students and teachers. She’s a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day and has always been supportive. The idea of her ever not being a teacher has never crossed the minds of her peers. But as of recently, Nuzzi has decided to quit teaching and join the Navy for a new experience and to accomplish her dreams.

Nuzzi says that she’s always wanted to join the Navy. Her dad was in the Navy himself and growing up, she wanted to be just like him. However, she also wanted to go to college. No one in her family had ever gone and she wanted to be the first one to go. Nuzzi planned to go into the Navy after college, but her sophomore teacher changed her mind and caused her to want to be a teacher.

Now that she is a teacher, Nuzzi says that things have grown difficult and that she wants a break. Lisa Hendershott, a fellow English teacher, says, “She has put so much in that she’s just burned out.”

Even though Nuzzi has always wanted to join the Navy, there is another reason she is leaving. She claims that the changing curriculum and standards played a huge part in her final decision. Nuzzi says, “The environment has changed, and what I’m expected to do has changed. I am expected to do more and more with less.”

Now that she has determined she needs a break from teaching, she is going after a lifelong dream of hers. It was a decision she has gone back and forth with for the past few years, but this year, she finally decided to go through with it.

But joining the Navy means that there are a lot of things she will have to adjust to. “The biggest adjustment has been the complete lifestyle change,” Nuzzi says. She will be forced to move around a lot and from this, she will unfortunately be separated from her family.

Nuzzi must also adjust to the physical aspects of the Navy: Physical Training, otherwise known as PT. She is required to do at least 43 sit-ups, 13 push-ups, and run a mile and a half in under 16:08. She’s already surpassed the requirements with 55 sit-ups and running the mile and a half in 13 minutes

As for her job in the Navy, Nuzzi has already picked out what she wants to do, which is mass communications. Essentially, that’s broadcasting, photography, and journalism all combined into one broad subject. She will be covering news from wherever she may travel, whether that be right here in the United States or across the ocean in a foreign country.

Even though Nuzzi says she is following her dreams, leaving is one of the hardest things she has ever done. She says, “I’ll miss the school itself. I’ve had a pretty good time here.” But she’s truly going to miss her students and her coworkers. She has put a lot of effort into her archery team and making sure Ashley Ridge High School is a friendly environment, so it’s difficult for her to leave something she’s grown so found of.

She hopes to return to teaching one day, but she wants her students to know that she loves and cares for them. She says, “A teacher would not be a good teacher without the love of her students.”

The Ridge asked Hendershott how she feels about Nuzzi leaving. She says, “I’m sad Mrs. Nuzzi is leaving, but it’s a good opportunity for her.” She’s also upset for the students that won’t have the privilege of having her as a teacher. She is a leader to new 9th grade teachers and according to Hendershott, she would have been lost without Nuzzi’s help.

Hendershott also says, “I am grateful for Mrs. Nuzzi’s help and support, her great ideas, and her love. Her smile and her wisdom is a blessing to us all.” Once Nuzzi is gone, the staff will truly realize how much she did for the school. She went out of her way to run archery, support her fellow teachers, and was a huge moral booster for everyone.

Hendershott wishes Nuzzi well in the Navy, but her absence will certainly be felt. “She has changed so many kids’ lives. We’re truly going to be lost without her.” She says.