Meet the Thurston Team
This week we are pleased to highlight:
Teacher - Math
LBHS Coach - Boys Lacrosse
Tell us about yourself:
At 32 years old I feel lucky to have experienced so many great things in life and that shows in my journey to this point. I grew up just outside of Boston and was able to experience the best that city has to offer for all of my elementary, middle school and high school years. I loved it so much that my journey took me to Boston College. My 4 years at BC were some of the best 4 of my life.
Almost 3 years after graduation, my sense of adventure brought me to California. I have found a home here in Orange County for the past 9 years with my wife and dog. When I originally moved to Orange County, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a career, I was sick of my desk job life and was seeking something more rewarding. I started coaching high school lacrosse where I loved working with students. I thought, "how can I do this for the rest of my life?" That is what lead me to a career in teaching and I have found a home in Laguna teaching at Thurston and coaching the boy's Varsity lacrosse team at LBHS. I could not be happier!
When is your birthday?
Tell us the best advice you have for students and/or the best advice you have for parents.
The best advice I have for students is to stay organized. Continually check in on your Aeries and refer to teacher websites. Often the answers to your questions are found on those resources.
Would you rather go hang gliding or whitewater rafting?
Neither! I have been whitewater rafting once before in Maine as part of an 8th grade school trip. I was the only one who fell off the raft and had to be rescued. It was all on film and we watched it later that night back at camp in front of everyone. Very embarrassing! As for hang gliding, I have seen too many fail videos to think that is a good idea.
What do you hope never changes?
I hope the New England Patriots dominance never ends. The Patriots first won a Super Bowl when I was a Sophomore in high school growing up in New England. Since that time, I have been able to set my watch to Patriot playoff football every winter. By the time you're reading this it is likely the Pats are getting ready for another Super Bowl. If not, they will be back there next year ;).
There are two types of people in this world. What are the two types?
This question reminds me of maybe my favorite quote. "Those who think they can and those who think they can not are both right." So I guess there are two types of people...those who think they can and those who think they can not and it turns out they are both correct.
What is the most annoying question that people ask you?
This question made me laugh and my students would know why. I always tell them, the number one question that annoys me is, "Are we changing seats today?" Without fail, after a long weekend or semester break, seemingly every day, students will ask if we are changing seats. Nothing captivates the mind of a middle school student like a new seating chart. I have literally had a student say, "Changing seats is like going to Knotts Berry Farm, it's like a rollercoaster!" ... and that is why I love teaching middle school students!
If you weren't a teacher what would you be?
I think I would want be a chef if I was not a teacher. Cooking is one of my favorite things to do. I see a lot of parallels between teaching and cooking. First off, just like teaching, in cooking there is no down time, you are always on the go and always trying to improve your work. When creating a great lesson plan, just like creating a dish, you start with the end result that you desire and work backwards. That means determining timing, which ingredients (pre requisite skills) are needed and how to layer the ingredients (pacing of concepts) so that you get your desired result. Sometimes in cooking, just like teaching, some things go as planned and sometimes everything goes haywire and you almost burn the kitchen down. As in teaching and cooking, there is no more rewarding feeling than having a lesson gain its desired results or having a dish come out perfectly.
Thank you Mr. Nunziata for participating in our Thurston team interview!