by Jim Scheible, Executive Director, Clayton Valley Charter
Leaving his previous job in the East Bay to teach at Clayton Valley Charter High School, was no easy task for Nick Tisa. He had been the varsity football team’s head coach. He worked with his wife, a fellow teacher at the same school. He was leaving a job where great friends surrounded him for more than five years. But, the chance to try something new in a flexible, autonomous environment was an opportunity he could not pass up.
Ask him today if there are any regrets and Tisa will show you one of the biggest smiles on the CVCHS campus. “It’s awesome here,” Tisa said. “I have absolutely no misgivings. I now live 10 minutes away so the commute is ideal. I get to see my daughter more and the kids at CVCHS are incredible. There is a great sense of community here.”
There is a continuing theme when anyone talks about Tisa – a superb role model and an educator who understands his students. That’s because he takes time to build a relationship with each of them. He makes himself available to talk with individual students about more than just his class. “The kids will try harder if you show a personal interest,” Tisa said. “I want to take the time to get the know each student and know what is happening in their lives. They can talk to me about a difficult family situation or simply ask advice about their friends. I can relate to my students and I am confident that it makes a difference in their education.”
If a student needs help with an assignment or to talk about anything going on in their lives, they have a “Tisa Talk.” Top high school teachers naturally put their greatest effort into planning and teaching students the content specific to their course, becoming experts themselves. What makes CVCHS so special is the willingness of the faculty to go beyond being content experts. Teachers here know the power of relationships and so they all positively engage in the lives of our students, ensuring each is surrounded with support.
In addition to being a terrific Social Science teacher, Tisa is the defensive backs coach for the Ugly Eagles varsity football team. He welcomed the challenge of stepping away from the head coaching position because it allows him to learn a specialized approach to the game. While he may have visions for returning as a head coach, Tisa is satisfied learning from a coach who knows how to win games, respects all players, and holds everyone to the highest level of sportsmanship.
“He’s outstanding with the kids,” Ugly Eagles varsity Head Coach Tim Murphy said. “Other people who have been a head coach elsewhere can’t come into a new system and thrive. Tisa works great in our system and works really well with our kids.”
Students at CVCHS are better served with teachers like Nick Tisa. Teaching positions for next year are posted online and we are always looking for great people so check us out today at claytonvalley.org. Come experience Nick’s enthusiasm – it’s awesome here