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Mr. Pizzo, the Man, the Myth, the Educator

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It’s five AM. Most teachers are asleep at this time. However, Mr. Pizzo is not. Every morning he wakes up at this time to ensure he gets to school at 5:30 to open the doors. I don’t know of any other teachers would pry themselves out of bed this early just to ensure that he and a I could get in a work out in before school. However, Mr. Pizzo does.

He busted on to the teaching scene last year and had immediate impact. On the first day I remember him turning heads with the ladies because of his rugged beard and chiseled frame. But as soon as I met him, I knew he wad much more than that. As the in-house substitute he moved from class to class every day. Most subs just give the class a worksheet and let them work. Mr. Pizzo defied this typical role. I had him in everything from choir to English. He made me sing, and he made me write. This versatility and care he gave to individuals is clearly why he landed a new job this year the OASIS, a class for non college bound students, teacher.

He commanded immediate respect as a coach on the football field. Mr. Pizzo was like Mother Teresa trapped in a prize fighter’s body. When one coach would yell at me, Mr. Pizzo would be right in my ear, not to console me, but to explain what I did wrong and help me to correct it. More than that, he had the attention to detail of a bomb diffuser. He doesn’t take lunch breaks. Instead he eats while breaking down film of our next opponent in his room, and he invites players to join him. He cares more about his players, pupils, and peers than any educator I know. The man even invited us over to his bachelor pad to eat home-made lasagna and watch film. He works tirelessly.

Tomorrow, Mr. Pizzo will be at school at 5:30 AM opening doors not only to the school but also to my now brighter future. He will work like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going and…



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