Mrs. Pirchio: From Student to Teacher


Karen Portillo

Mrs. Pirchio has been teaching for over fourteen years.

Karen Portillo, Staff Writer

Graduating from the Santaluces class of 1998, Mrs. Pirchio has been teaching at this school for eleven years. This year, she teaches two AICE Marine Science classes and also works as the AICE coordinator. Pirchio attended the University of North Florida for her bachelor’s degree in Biology Education and the University of Georgia for her master’s degree in Marine Science. Although she did not expect to return to Santaluces as a teacher, Ms. Diglio encouraged her to come back. After realizing that the same staff continued to work at this school, she decided to apply because she felt like she was still at home with everyone.

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family or traveling around the state. Her life outside of school revolves around going to her kids’ football, soccer, baseball, or gymnastics events. “We have a rule in the family where we all have to attend each other’s game to cheer them on,” explained Mrs. Pirchio. Over the summer her family will usually travel within Florida. “Last summer, we agreed on going to a new beach every week. We like to travel locally and get to know the areas close to us,” mentioned Pirchio.

Being a mom and a teacher can be a stressful job for many people. Many times, Mrs. Pirchio tries to leave anything dealing with work at school, but there are some occasions in which that is not possible. “I try not to carry the stress from work back home, but sometimes I need to. I sacrifice family time to allow the next day to go more smoothly and where I can devote myself to my kids. I try to limit myself as much as I can,” states Pirchio.

Photo by Cheryl Pirchio
Mrs. Pirchio enjoys spending time with her family and watching her kids play sports.

Dealing with the responsibilities of teaching marine as well as being the AICE coordinator, Mrs. Pirchio has to make time for both jobs. When asked how she handles it all, she responded, “The hardest part about dealing with both jobs is trying to stop one of the roles to make time for the other. There’s always a lot of work to do, but I have to balance time for both.”

When Mrs. Pirchio attended Santaluces, she remembers learning important life skills. “I had good teachers that taught me to be responsible which is what inspired me the most. Ms. Ewing and Ms. Rubow were role models for me. They taught me what success really means,” recalled Pirchio.

Interacting with students in the AICE program brings Mrs. Pirchio lots of joy. Although it can be stressful during the testing season, Pirchio finds it rewarding in the end when they get to celebrate the student’s accomplishments. For seniors getting ready to go to college and start their adult lives, Mrs. Pirchio advises, “You don’t have to know what you want to be. You have time, but when you do figure it out, be in a positive mindset. It’s ok to make changes to what degree you want, but always try and figure out what you want to be.”

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