When John Nepomuceno ’15 challenges his high school students to push themselves just a little bit harder, he can certainly empathize. He knows that struggle equals growth.
“I feel that the GSE's programs make no excuses for the level of rigor that it places on its students,” Nepomuceno said. “The depth and breadth of my education at the GSE has been extraordinarily challenging, but the struggle has been well worth it.”
He speaks from experience when he challenges his students at the Mandela Law & Public Service Academy of Fremont High School in the Oakland Unified School District, where Nepomuceno teaches English and is the co-director of the small school while also attending GSE classes at night, on the weekends and in the summer.
“When it comes to seeing students who you have struggled to work with all year long, grow into young adults, ready for the world, and knowing that you had a hand in that development, that change,” Nepomuceno said, “I love my job as a teacher.”
Nepomuceno earned his master’s degree and credential from the GSE’s Multicultural Urban Secondary English program and is a graduate of the GSE’s Principal Leadership Institute.
What feeds his passion for teaching is helping students realize their ability to be change agents for themselves, their families, their community, and beyond. What prepared him for teaching is his GSE experience.
“I have been pushed to great limits, when it comes to reflecting both on my practice as a teacher, as well as a budding leader,” he said. “I think it takes a significant level of bravery to go into the Education profession, and the GSE can help future educators harness their own strengths and abilities as well as refining themselves as equity-minded, social justice educators and leaders, in order to serve the youth in as effective a means as possible.
To which, I say, `Fortune Favors the Brave.'