Teacher: Tommy Rizzuto Jr.

School: Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School

Grades/Subjects: Spanish, sixth and eighth grades

Why this teacher was nominated:

This teacher is special because he always puts a smile on my face every time I enter his class. Overall, I learn the most in his class. I know for sure that he truly tries his best to educate students.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I was feeling kind of lost regarding my career choices, and teaching had been suggested by my family and friends for years. I knew I loved Spanish and I knew I wanted to do something where I could make a difference, so I gave teaching a shot. It brought purpose and fulfillment to my life in a way I never thought it would!

How has the coronavirus affected your work the most?

The coronavirus brought a lot of uncertainty into an already high-pressure setting. Teaching students who are physically present and connected virtually can be very draining. But we’ve almost made it through and I couldn’t be more proud of all of us, teachers and students alike.

What keeps you going, even during the tough times?

The kids keep me going when I want to give up. They get me out of my funk when I’m out of sorts and help me to see things from a fresh, different perspective.