Get To Know Ms.Nixon
To kick off our "Get to Know the Staff 'series, the Times took it to the people of Citadel with a simple question; who would you like to hear from first? The results were not surprising. Ms. Nixon, Phys Ed teacher and athletic director extraordinaire, was voted in. If the Times is known for one thing, it is that we give the people what they want. So without further ado, get to know Ms.Nixon:
Ms. Ami Nixon has formed connections with many students in her 4 years at CHS through her large role in the Phys-ed and Athletics communities. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that Ms.Nixon is a fixer. She is always eager to help any student at any time, even if the realms of the issue are outside of her job description. Furthermore, whether she is settling JV soccer battles or teaching a class, Ms.Nixon is always busy.
That being said, have many of us ever had the time to truly talk to Ms.Nixon about the ins and outs of her role at Citadel? Or, what path she followed to end up at Citadel in the first place? Probably not. Fortunately, that is what the Times is here for. I had the opportunity to sit down with Ms.Nixon and ask her a few questions, where she shed light on some of her personal experiences. Our conversation has been shortened for clarity purposes:
Maxie: “Before we get into the interview, I have to say that we gave students an option of who they wanted to hear from and they voted for you! What is your initial reaction to that?”
Ms.Nixon: “It just warms my heart. I hope that all the students at school know that they can always come talk to me with any problems or issues that they have. I hope that I am approachable and easy to talk to. That’s my hope”
Maxie: “ I definitely think you have that area covered. What made you want to become a teacher?”
Ms. Nixon: “Well, I wanted to become a phys ed teacher because I had an amazing phys ed teacher when I was in junior high school and she really helped me to gain confidence, and she encouraged me to try out for the basketball team and the volleyball team. That really shaped my whole identity, so I wanted to become a phys ed teacher to hopefully have the same impact on young girls. It's not so much now in high school that you have that impact, but I did teach junior high for about 8 years, and I coached a lot of teams, and hopefully I was able to help some young girls.”
We then chatted about her transition to teaching in high school, and the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone:
Ms.Nixon: “ I was actually really nervous to come to high school, but I had a lot of people in my life encourage me, and others say ‘give it a try, if you don’t like it you can always go back to junior high, you might as well try it for a year’ and I said ‘Ok.. it’s totally out of my comfort zone, but, it’s good to do things out of your comfort zone’ so, I went to the job fair and I put this job as my number 1, and I got it. I ended up loving high school, now I don’t ever want to leave I don’t think.”
We then moved on to another topic:
Maxie: “Being an athletic director is a huge task. How long have you been doing it for, and what made you want to take it on?”
Ms.Nixon: “Well, I wasn't the athletic director my first year here. When I got my permanent contract, Mr. Morrison and Mme Luke - Mme.Luke is my department head- asked if I would be interested in this position. I thought, ‘oh my gosh, this is a lot, i've never done this before’ but again, they encouraged me and helped me alot and so, again pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is important, so I said yes, and ended up loving that too, so here I am.”
Then, I started to get into some long pondered, never before answered questions:
Maxie: “As you probably know, Citadel sports has a few rivals. When meeting with athletic directors from competing schools, would you say this rivalry affects your relationships or is that just a student thing?”
Ms.Nixon:“No, I would say the rivalries do not affect the relationship of the athletic directors. I think we are all very friendly towards each other”
Maxie: “Friendly, but like, secret hatred right?”
Ms.Nixon: “What do they say, keep your enemies… keep your friends close keep your enemies closer..? Just joking lol.”
Maxie: "To piggyback on that question; Do you think the fact that Citadel is good at every sport makes your job harder, or easier?"
Ms.Nixon:“I think that we have a lot of sports teams, and we have Varsity and JV for most of our teams. I think that being a big high school in Central Halifax, means that there is a lot of attention and focus out on our school. I can’t really speak on whether it makes my job easier or harder because I have never worked at another school. I think we are an awesome school, but I can’t really say if it makes it easier or harder”
To finish off our interview, I decided to ask Ms.Nixon to tell me about a memory or experience that she has had that is unique to Citadel and that she cherishes. She debated between a couple experiences, but ultimately decided to speak about one of her favourite teaching experiences:
Ms.Nixon:“I would say my favourite teaching experience was definitely the all-girls pal class, that I taught with Mr. Barrington. God love Mr. Barrington. I loved that experience because it didn’t matter how good of an athlete you were, it didn’t matter what friend group you were in, everyone in that class really embraced everyone else. There were girls in that class who I know if they were in a traditional phys ed class they would have kind of sat off to the side or not wanted to participate or try new things, because you know, it’s hard sometimes when you are not the greatest athlete and you have a lot of athletes and boys in that class. Anyways, I just thought that everyone participated in that class, and it was great, and I loved it”
From my chat with Ms.Nixon, I learned a lot about her. Though I left this out of our interview, I learned that she attended Sir John A (her one fault), and that she loves the game of volleyball. However, most of all, I learned about her genuine character. She continuously preached the importance of pushing yourself, and her love for Citadel. Above all, her care for her students was apparent throughout our entire conversation. She spoke about how her inspiration to teach was to help young girls. She also spoke of her love of watching school sports games and supporting every team (though I’m pretty sure her favourite is the girls basketball team).
Ms.Nixon's Schedule is crazy. Being an athletic director and teacher is no small task. Nonetheless, she continues to do it all with a smile and extreme care for her students. I think it is time that the student body, athlete or not, gives her a huge thank you.