Mrs. Nycum assists a student in her seventh grade reading class. She plans on retiring in May after 33 years at Bellwood-Antis.
Mrs. Nycum assists a student in her seventh grade reading class. She plans on retiring in May after 33 years at Bellwood-Antis.
Olivia McCloskey

Feature Teacher: Mrs. Nycum

Beloved educator retiring after more than 3 decades at B-A

Mrs. Nycum has been one of the most favorited teachers through the years and the most creative and will always a treasured and creative teacher at Bellwood.

After a career spanning more than three decades, Mrs. Nycum has decided to retire at the end of this school year.

She has been teaching for almost 33 years and she is looking forward to the next chapter in her life.

Mrs. Nycum has been a staple at Bellwood-Antis for 33 years.

“I felt like it was time to move on and retire from teaching,” Mrs. Nycum said.

Mrs. Nycum’s teaching career at B-A began in 1991 after graduating from Lock Haven University. She would later earn her Masters through Penn State.

Originally Mrs. Nycum had received a job offer in the state of Virginia, but she turned it down.

“I never thought I would teach here,” said Mrs. Nycum, who graduated from Bellwood-Antis in 1987.  “I was told that Mrs. Nancy Rupert was retiring, and it would be beneficial for me to get my Reading Specialist Certificate…I got that along with my M.ed in Curriculum and Instruction. At Bellwood I started with a salary of $16,100!  I didn’t see myself staying here long, but the staff was one big family, and it was a wonderful place to work!”

She said her favorite things about teaching are building friendships with her colleagues and seeing students grow as learners and individuals.

“I chose to be teacher to make a difference in the students’ lives,” she said.

Mrs. Nycum said when she’s all done she’ll determine “what she wants to do when she grows up,” but she is looking for a job with some flexibility so she can spend time with her family.

Mrs. Nycum began her career before the age of the Internet, so she experienced plenty of change. However, what she has found most difficult to adjusting to has been the change in society’s thoughts and beliefs of what education is and should be as well as changes in educational requirements.

Middle school principal Dr Donold Wagner is one of the officials at B-A who will miss her.

“Mrs. Nycum has always been willing to volunteer her time and talent to make BAMS a more fun and exciting place,” Dr. Wagner said.

He noted Mrs. Nycum’s devotion to the students she cares so much about.

“She worked hard to create an environment in her room that makes students feel safe, welcomed, and inspired,” said Dr. Wagner.

Mrs. Nycum has always challenged her students to think more deeply by posing thought provoking questions and encouraging then to share their thoughts and opinions. She really tries to challenge her students to think more deeply.

“She has served in countless communities and recently has been the adviser of the MS leadership team, which has done many things for students, such as the emotional messages on students lockers,” said Dr. Wagner.

Mrs. Nycum is the first to tell you that she is “old school,” Dr. Wagner said,  and she is proud of it.

“I agree with so many of the philosophies on education and I’m really sad to see her go but happy for her as she ends this incredibly successful chapter of her life,” Dr. Wagner said.

Over the years, Mrs. Nycum was able to teach both of her children in class. Last year she watched her son Andrew graduate and move on to college, and this year her daughter Allison will graduate.

Allison said she felt fortunate to have her mother as a teacher.

“In school she is strict, but also laid back,” Allison said. “She made sure we were learning properly while still being chill about class. She is really friendly and easy to get along with. She is obviously a good teacher, but a friend to most at the same time. It was definitely easier for her to connect with my brother’s and my grades since she already knew most of the students outside of school. She is like my best friend and biggest supporter.”


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