I am Nichelle Rourke (Wood), and I am ecstatic to be a scholar teacher at Manzanita Public Charter School. Warmly received and inspired by the dedicated staff of Manzanita, I look forward to embarking on another educational adventure this year with my third graders.
I was raised in northern California, in the countryside near a small town called Sebastopol. In the fields and on the farms I was encouraged by my preschool teaching mother to explore my friendly neighborhood and make new discoveries. When I graduated from Petaluma High School I promptly relocated to study at UC Santa Barbara. I immediately fell in love with the lush environment, relaxed atmosphere and year-round moderate temperatures of the central coast. With an inherent desire to travel, I lived and studied in Washington DC and Queretaro, Mexico while completing my Bachelors Degree. In my final year of perusing a double major in Spanish and Business Economics, I met my future husband and we moved to Geneva, Switzerland where I mastered the French language and provided administrative support at CERN, a physical science research laboratory. During our six years residing in France and voyaging the world we married and had a beautiful, artistic daughter named Morgane.
Desiring to raise my daughter at the home I loved as a child, my family returned to Sebastopol for a few years, before coming back to Santa Barbara to commence my career in education. In 2011, I earned a teaching credential and Masters in Education from UCSB, and I have been teaching throughout the county ever since. I have been fortunate to be welcomed into hundreds of classrooms at dozens of schools as a guest teacher. Each of these moments helped sculpt my vision of education as a creative endeavor where inquisition and observation often unveil deeper understandings and valuable connections.
I believe that every person is a unique learner, with individual dreams and talents. My goal is to become a leader and partner in the development of students’ educations in order to cultivate those abilities and hopes. Foreign languages, technology, art and literature are my strengths, which I intend to pass along to my students. Through differentiated instruction, multiple learning techniques and meeting the special needs of every scholar I foresee a busy and incredible year ahead of us at Manzanita Charter School.