Mr. NeSmith has been a teacher for over 21 years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?
When I chose my college major, I picked music because it was the one thing I knew I couldn’t give up. When I originally chose music education, it was because it was a safer choice than music performance. It wasn’t until my internship that I discovered that students responded well to me, and that I could be a successful teacher. Helping others has always been important to my family, and teaching was a career that made that a part of my adult life.

What goals do you have as a teacher?
I was born and raised in small-town Alabama. One of the things that I noticed about Florida when I moved here was that there was less community identity and spirit, due at least in part to the high number of transplants like me. I try to create a small community in my choral program that brings a little bit of the small town to the SouthShore area. Hopefully, our students take what they learn about the value and dignity of every person and use it [to] make more connections in our school, the SouthShore area and their lives as adults.

Do you have any hidden talents you would like to share?
I can cook! I like to make chicken Parmesan, pot stickers and lots of chicken dishes. I would really love to learn more about how to prepare authentic cuisine from Spanish-speaking cultures.

What is your favorite book and why?
There is no way to choose a favorite, really, but I could choose a category. I love biographies from American history, particularly the period surrounding the American Revolution.

What is your favorite quote or saying?
“We win when we love.”

What would you like to see change in the schools today?
I would love to see schools given a wider range of options to reach students for whom the traditional curriculum isn’t the best fit, and I would love to see a greater commitment from parents to the students’ education.

Riverview/Apollo Beach Teacher of the Month is sponsored by Mathnasium of Riverview