Meet the Staff: Nicki Sullivan, First Grade Teacher

What words best describe you? The words that best describe me are energetic, dedicated and passionate.
How long have you been at New City School and what did you do before coming here? This is my first year at New City School.  Before this I was a kindergarten teacher at a charter school in south city and before that I was a 3/4s teachers in an early childhood center. LONG ago however, I was an interior designer for a commercial design firm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. My full name is Nicole Jean Sullivan. I am the third of four children. My mom owned a daycare, and is my greatest motivation for being a teacher. She taught me more about teaching with love and compassion, even in the most trying settings, than any other source. After attending Regina Catholic Education Center for 15 years, preschool through 12th grade, I moved to St. Louis to attend undergraduate school at Maryville University.  After graduation, I moved back home to Iowa to work for a design firm. It took a year of dreaming about and missing St. Louis for me to move back and decide to switch careers completely. After two years of school at Fontbonne University, I obtained my master’s degree in teaching, was married, and bought a beautiful home. My husband and I live in the Compton Heights neighborhood and adore all that the city has to offer. We have a four-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer who rules the roost and knows it! While I call St. Louis home, my family resides north in Iowa and Minnesota. I have six nieces and nephews – whom I adore and cannot see often enough. 

What do you like to do when you're not at New City? When I am not at New City School you can find me and my pup running around the city. We are currently training for our 3rd marathon, which I am completing as a 30th birthday gift to myself! I also enjoy reading, crafting, sewing, and going to yoga. My husband and I enjoy the outdoors and hike and camp as much as possible. We love trying new restaurants and attending festivals around town.

What did six-year-old Nicki want to be when she grew up? When I was six I wanted to be a teacher. I used to steal my big sisters' clothes, high heels and glasses, and pretend to teach all the children at my mother’s daycare. I would ask for books, pencils, stickers, chalk, and anything else I could use in my classroom. I would even give homework and pretend to grade it! As I grew older every job I had was in the field of teaching or childcare, but I was caught up in the glamor of interior design and have always had a strong love of art. I chose a university that had an amazing art and design program and began working right out of college. All the while, though, I could not shake the desire to teach, to make a difference for children.  Eventually the voice in the back of my head became loud enough for me to listen and I went back to school to teach – I haven’t looked back since!

What is your ideal vacation? I have been lucky enough to take many vacations in my life to places like France, Spain, Scotland, England, Mexico, and the Bahamas. I have traveled all over the Midwest and visited states such as Florida and Colorado. But my dream vacation is becoming reality this summer when my husband and I set off from Seattle to drive Costal Highway 101 along the Pacific coastline (final destination TBD.) We are planning on hiking, seeing the redwoods, visiting Crater Lake, going to the top of the Space Needle, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, and going wherever the wind may take us! I am a HUGE fan of the movie Goonies, so we are of course making a stop in Astoria, Oregon to see if we can find One-Eyed Willy’s lost treasure!

What is something that most people don't know about you? I have always been an open book, and have been blessed with the gift of gab so there is little people don’t know about me. But if I had to divulge one thing about myself it would be that I once performed in a circus.  

What else do you want people to know? I would love for people to understand and feel my passion for teaching. It took me a while to get on the path of teaching and find my place in the perfect school, but I am here and love every day at New City. The sense of community and support is something to be admired and I cannot be more grateful for what is quickly becoming my New City School family.