Letter: Reader remembers former SHS teacher at her retirement

We invite readers to contribute letters to the editor. Please include a name, address, and phone number and email us at  JGoralski@ SouthingtonObserver.com. There is a limit of 350 words.

We invite readers to contribute letters to the editor. Please include a name, address, and phone number and email us at JGoralski@ SouthingtonObserver.com. There is a limit of 350 words.

To the editor:

When I saw the opportunity to write a letter about Nancy Chiero, I knew right away what I wanted to say. I first met her when I was in eighth grade at Kennedy Middle School.

I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD when I was in elementary school. Since I can remember, I’ve been in a support class because I needed more help than other students. I wasn’t always as focused as my classmates, but I was being introduced to the person that was going to be helping me in my high school career.

Now, being only 13 years old, I had absolutely no idea what role she was about to play in my life.

Since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. It’s something I still want to do, and I’m studying to be one at college. Mrs. Chiero has always encouraged me to pursue writing. She even helped me complete my very first book about five years ago. I was 14 or 15.

Back then, I probably thought it was an amazing book that could be published and be a best seller. But re-reading it as a 20 year-old, I see that it was written quite poorly, but Mrs. Chiero didn’t think so.

She was always so excited when I told her I had completed another chapter. When I told her ideas for the ending, she would go over them with me and help me elaborate. She didn’t see me as a student who needed help. She saw me as someone who excelled in writing and knew what I was capable of. She didn’t let my disability define me. She believed in me before I could believe in myself.

Without her, I wouldn’t be the writer or the person who I am today. I will always be grateful for her. She is an important role model to me and always will be.

Mrs. Chiero is more than just a teacher. She is a hero. She looks at a student and doesn’t see a problem to solve, she sees another friend. Not once did she make me feel left out or different. She was patient with me and that’s all I could ask for in a teacher and a friend.

Brooke Cochrane, SHS Class of 2014

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