Fifteen years ago, Carmela Pizzichetti stepped foot into FishHawk Creek Elementary (FHCE) as its school counselor and made a difference. She introduced herself to incoming students as ‘Pizza-spaghetti’ to help them learn her name.
Pizzichetti helped students to see FishHawk Creek’s vision to soar to the highest level of academic achievement and citizenship. “I am ever so grateful to have been included in the students and families’ lives. It has been a true learning experience,” said Pizzichetti . She supported PTA, administrative, teaching and instructional staff, as well as the front office, custodial and café, but more importantly, they supported her too.
“Ms. Pizzichetti inspires the students to be the best version of themselves and encourages them along the way and will certainly be missed,” said teacher Diahn Brauss.
“Ms. ‘Pizza-getti’s’ career was filled with creating special relationships with all her students, making each one feel special. Always taking the time to reach out and check on her colleagues too. Her dedication and friendships did not go unnoticed,” said former teacher Sonja Shear.
“One of the most exciting things that I look forward to is having our seniors come back to walk the halls of FishHawk Creek Elementary wearing their cap and gown. I had the opportunity to work with these students and excited to see them now as seniors and to hear about their future endeavors,” said Pizzichetti.
She has been such a gift not only to the school but also to the community. “Ms. Pizzichetti would buy cookies from me during our fundraiser, bake them and give them to me all wrapped up. She continued to bake cookies for me over the years, which made me feel special,” said former student Makye Hayes.
“She treats every single child with love and respect. Recently, when my son was killed, she did everything in her power to help his younger siblings acclimate to their new normal without him. She checked on them every day and they knew they were in a safe place because of her. She had bears made for them out of Bradley’s T-shirts. She still checks on us even though we have moved out of the area,” said Meagan Hulett.
Pizzichetti has 10 years with middle and high schools in Hillsborough County under the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and the Florida Department of Education. She has always advocated for every student.
“I am looking forward to spending time with family, friends, traveling a bit, hitting the local beaches and waking up without an alarm clock,” said Pizzichetti. She is also excited to spend more time with her nephew and going to see the drum circles at the beaches.
“Make the rest of your life the best of your life,” said former teacher Jen Fowke. The families and community will miss Pizzichetti, but they are excited for her new chapter and wish her well.
For more information about FishHawk Creek Elementary, visit www.hillsboroughschools.org/fishhawkcreek.