By Steve Svetovich
Teachers make a difference. Take Mrs. Judith Spinelli, for instance.
The retired Dunmore Elementary School teacher made a big difference in the life of Dunmore High School graduate Nicole Pizzola.
Mrs. Spinelli was Nicole’s sixth grade Life Science teacher at the Dunmore Elementary Center.
Daughter of Christine and Thomas Pizzola, Dunmore, Nicole will enter her senior year at Marywood University this month. She is a Biology Secondary Education major.
Nicole, who served as Miss Buck at during her senior year at Dunmore, has always been artistic, creative, intuitive, with a life long affection for dance. She has been practicing dance since age five for Sherry Nicolais at Sherry’s Royalettes. Nicole teaches baton there.
Always into the arts, Nicole knew at an early age that she wanted to be a teacher.
The natural progression in most cases would be to study Art Education, but Nicole was lucky enough to have a special Life Sciences teacher who combined science with creativity and the arts.
That teacher was Mrs. Spinelli — who became Nicole’s inspiration.
Mrs. Spinelli, who retired this past year, had a way of teaching science to make it interesting for all kinds of students.
“She had a very creative environment for a science class,” said Nicole. “She just found a way of making science creative for her students. She made the class real interesting. She would show us films about different types of animals. We did creative projects. She would have us sketch a bumble bee. She was just very creative.
“I always wanted to teach Art, but she made me fall in love with Science.”
With Mrs. Spinelli as a mentor, Nicole came to the realization that many schools employ only one Art teacher, but the demand for Science teachers was much higher. And she realized she could still practice her Art and even teach Dance.
“After taking Mrs. Spinelli’s class, I took as many Science classes as I could in high school. I decided to be a Science teacher. Mrs. Spinelli was my inspiration. She made me see that I could still be my creative self even as a Science teacher. She wrote a letter of recommendation for me to get into the Secondary Education program at Marywood.”
Nicole will do her student teaching this coming year.
“I did my classroom observations my first few years at Marywood. I also passed part one of the Praxis test for prospective teachers. I will take part two next year.”
Nicole has an impressive 3.7 grade point average at Marywood where a student needs to maintain at least a 3.0 to stay in the Education program.
“I always wanted to be a teacher and want to be the inspiration Mrs. Spinelli was to me. I want to inspire students to appreciate nature and life around them in a creative teaching environment. Just like Mrs. Spinelli did for me.”
After she graduates and passes her necessary tests, Nicole will be able to teach any Life Science class from 7th to 12th grade.
“I can’t wait to get started. I just can’t wait to start my new journey as a Science teacher.”