Olivia C., Features Editor

Nancy Brocato’s career at Commack High School is coming to an end after this 2020 school year, as she will be retiring and embarking on a new chapter in her life. 


Brocato’s passion for teaching was first sparked during her upbringing in Syosset. She grew up in a town where mostly everything looked the same; from the style of houses to the families who settled down there. 


I was drawn to the kids who were different, or alone.  I was also fascinated by people of different cultures. I always had a desire to try to make kids feel good about themselves. This naturally led me to a career in education,” said Brocato. 


Brocato dreamed of teaching Spanish after her experiences with the language when she was in high school herself. 


“By ninth grade I was convinced that I must not be too bright [in Spanish], so I gave up.  I became a master doodler to get through those boring classes. [One day, my teacher] called my mother and told her that I had no aptitude for languages.  When I heard that I turned around completely. […]Instead of doodling I took notes. By 10th grade, I was the go-to person in the class- the smart on,”, said Brocato.


Her appreciation for the Spanish language led her to study at both SUNY New Paltz and the University at Oviedo in Spain. Unfortunately, Brocato struggled finding a job teaching in New York, after graduating, as many positions were already filled. 


For years she worked in many different places to support her kids. It was not until 2000, where she finally became a teacher at Amityville High School and it was in 2006 that Brocato began her career at Commack High School. 


“My experience at Commack High School has been amazing.  When I walked in in September of 2006, I felt as if I was in the hallways of Syosset High School [where I went to school] so many years before.  The atmosphere was amazing.  The students have been nurtured and prepared to accept responsibility. [Also], the teachers here are friendly and collaborative. The administrators are supportive. They have worked to create a familiar environment [for the students],” said Brocato. 


Over the years, Brocato has come to appreciate the dedication it takes to teach the language. She has enjoyed creating lessons about technology, the environment, or even teaching about Don Quijote and famous artists. 


“I also loved teaching the structure of the language.  To me it is like a mathematical formula.  I love the intricacies.  It was always fun to find traditional songs and rhymes,” said Brocato. 


During her time at Commack High School, Brocato loved attending graduation activities, such as Senior Awards. She has also helped Jessie DeLuca with the International Cultural Society and enjoyed the food festival they created every year. DeLuca and her worked alongside one another for many years. 


“Mrs. Brocato and I started in Commack the same year. She’s always been such an unfailingly upbeat person. Mrs. Brocato has always given 110% of herself to her work and most of all, to her students. I know that she has made a lasting impact on so many of her students; when I have them in class the year after her, they all remember her stories and songs, especially “La Araña Pequeñita,” said DeLuca.


Brocato’s career at Commack High School was very memorable. From her students to fellow educators, she has helped touch so many lives. 


“Teaching has been challenging and rewarding to me. I feel like I am a part of the mainstream of life. I love the energy of motivated students. I will miss all my students and I will miss the ladies and gentlemen of the [language] department. They are a remarkable group of people.  I have formed many friendships that I hope will continue,” said Brocato. 


As her career at Commack High School is coming to a close, Brocato is now beginning to start new activities such as; painting, gardening, singing, and traveling. 


“We will all miss [Brocato’s] cheerful smile and light-hearted personality. I’m so happy for her and wish her the very best in her retirement”, said DeLuca. 🔳