North Santa Rosa

Nick Gandy -JHS Rookie of the Year

Rookie of the Year for Jay High School is Nicholas (Nick) Patrick Gandy.  He is currently a teacher in Exceptional Student Education.  This is his first year as a full-time employee with Santa Rosa County, and  last year I taught history part-time at Milton High School.

Nick graduated from Pace High School in 2006. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of West Florida (2009). He also has a couple of semesters’ worth of credits towards a Master of Divinity; this is a degree he intends to finish when he has means and opportunity.

Nick is  23 years old, single, with no children. In college, he was among a group of students who received the John C. Pace Jr. Scholar Endowment. The endowment not only paid for his tuition and housing, but it also afforded him the opportunity to design a trip anywhere in the world that would enhance his studies. In 2009, Nick went to England for two weeks and toured as many historical sites as possible.  Nick describes it this way,  “It was a defining moment for me. It sparked a love for travel. Since then, I’ve made my first trip to Washington D.C. and I’ve gone on my first international mission trip. I am excited to be going on another mission trip this summer; I will be spending 6 weeks in Romania, working with three teams from the southeastern United States to share the gospel and provide medical care to the Roma and Gypsy peoples in various Romania villages. In 2010, I published my first book with Tate Publishing. It is entitled, Seeking an Heir: Getting to the Marriage Altar God’s Way.”

In high school Nick planned to be a history teacher. It’s a subject he is passionate about and one that often gets pushed to the side in the academic world because of an attitude that says, “Anyone can teach history.” He wanted to bring history to life for kids, to show them their place in the history of our world. However, by the time he entered college, he was on a different path. Nick knew that he wanted to go into Christian ministry one day. This would mean pursuing a Master of Divinity after his undergraduate work. So upon graduation, Nick entered Beeson Divinity School at Samford University. Nick had this to say on why he is where he is today, “Beeson was an incredible learning experience; however, through a couple of life experiences, I realized it just wasn’t the place for me to pursue my theological education. I came home, hoping to figure out where I might continue my education, and ended up teaching history part-time at Milton. That job was a temporary position; I knew that when I was hired. Teaching special education was never my plan; it was the answer to getting a job that I needed. However, even though it is something I have seemingly fallen into, I enjoy interacting with students and making a positive impact on them.”

Nick once had a teacher who used to tell her classes, “Shoot for the moon in hope that you might land among the stars.” He had never forgotten that. Today, he tells his students to never settle, to never stop dreaming. Nick tries to live that out in his own life.  When asked about his goals, Nick replied, “A few of my current dreams are to be a congressional staffer, a college professor, or a curator in an American history museum. At some point, dreams either become goals or fade into one’s mental recesses.  My dreams have a common theme as of late, a theme that seems to be a goal of mine: to immerse myself in a culture foreign to that of my raising and to see how other people live. There’s one dream of mine that might just enable me to achieve that goal. I dream of being a missionary to a foreign country. Maybe one day that dream will become a reality. Until then, I’ll keep teaching, hoping to inspire students to dream big.”

Nick Gandy – JHS Teacher of the Year

Posted by on Mar 31 2012. Filed under Jay High, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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