by Annie Yang
For the last five decades, teaching has been an adventure for Ms. Nancy Jacobson. This year, however, marks the end of the last leg of her journey and the beginning of a new adventure.
From the start, Ms. Jacobson was interested in teaching reading. She embarked on her career in 1962, starting off at elementary schools in the Freeport School District and then teaching in elementary schools in Commack as well as elementary and middle schools in Amityville.
Ms. Jacobson was drawn to the Great Neck School District because the elementary schools had just begun a new program called Reading Resource in 1974, which employed fulltime reading teachers. She taught at Kensignton-Johnson, Saddlerock, Baker, and Grace Avenue before coming to South High in 1984.
Some of her most memorable experiences occurred during the exciting summers in Great Neck when Ms. Jacobson taught drama and dance, teaching improvisational theater and allowing her students to come up with their own choreography.
While she has appreciated every year working here, Ms. Jacobson cherishes especially this final year’s bittersweet moments. “I’m going to miss the most, first, the students and then, of course, my colleagues, and the excitement and energy of creating and teaching,” Ms. Jacobson said.
During her time here at Great Neck, Ms. Jacobson has not only taught but also learned. “As I’ve nurtured many kids, Great Neck has nurtured me.” Since she began her career when she was quite young, the opportunities granted to her to take risks, try new things, and invent were invaluable. Her job also demanded that she be be open-minded, task-oriented, and prepared.
Fifty years is a long time, but Ms. Jacobson has no regrets. “I’ve totally done everything I’ve wanted to accomplish. My work has been my life.”
Now that her work is almost over, she “feel[s] like [she’s] beginning on a new venture in my life.” Ms. Jacobson plans to travel, to explore life’s possibilities, and to take courses in theaters, photography, and other disciplines. “It’s been an awesome career for me. I feel that there’s nothing in this life that I regret. I’ve loved the work. I’ve loved coming into work and enjoying the kids.”