Meet Ormond Beach Middle School's Teacher of the Year
P.J. Maccio is a former EVAC worker turned sixth-grade science teacher.
Though she's always loved education, having taught swim lessons, water safety and cheerleading as a teen, Maccio was influenced to use her love of science in other fields. She worked as a fire department volunteer in South Florida and later in EVAC services before finally deciding for herself that she was going to become a teacher.
“It’s kind of later in life that I started, but I appreciate it a whole bunch because I love what I do," Maccio said.
She would then move on to teaching kindergarten at Pine Trail Elementary for about nine years, followed by a jump to teaching sixth-grade at Ormond Beach Middle School, the very same junior high she attended as a child.
She's also found through the years that she loves not only the interactions between her and her students, but the challenge teaching brings.
“I like feeling like I’m accomplishing something, and what better place to do that than education?” Maccio said.
Maccio often says to her students to "check their attitudes," not only about school, but about life as well. She said there's always going to be people out there that are both more and less fortunate than ourselves, and she likes to remind her students that it's all about the attitude they put forth.
“If you have a good attitude, you’re going to have a good outcome,” Maccio said.
But most of all, Maccio's favorite thing about teaching is giving students a "spark." By that, she said she means making them want to learn both in the classroom and on their own.
“You can only teach them so much," Maccio said. "Nobody can teach everybody everything. But if you can teach them to want to learn and the excitement about learning, then you’ve done your job.”