Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Same walls, new roles

Submitted Photo
Nicolette Statuti is extremely excited to be back at North Penn High School as she makes the transition from being an elementary school teacher to a high school teacher.

With every rounding corner, there is another memory to be unlocked from the past. The sounds of laughter and classrooms filled with students bring a sense of deja vu. The halls of North Penn High School may not have changed, but former students Joe Courtney and Nicolette Statuti sure have. 

Every year, North Penn High School graduates over 1,000 students, all bound for success. While North Penn always ensures their students are ready to take on life outside the walls of North Penn, they never shy away from a student willing to come back and teach. Alumni Joe Courtney and Nicolette Statuti weren’t sure if they would ever be back inside North Penn, but they never counted out the possibility. 

“I wasn’t sure if I would come back to teach at North Penn, but it was always in the back of my mind,” Courtney shared. “I did career study with Mrs. Coyle, so I did think about the possibility of coming back and teaching Japanese here, but I am so grateful that Mrs. Coyle gave me the opportunity to come back.” 

Courtney, who has stepped in as the new Japanese teacher, graduated from North Penn in 2019 and went on to attend the University of Pittsburg, majoring in secondary social studies education. Although Courtney didn’t major in Japanese, he grew up surrounded by Japanese culture. 

“My mom’s side of the family is Japanese, so I grew up with the culture and speaking the language. I also took Japanese when I was here with the old Japanese teacher, Mrs. Coyle,” Courtney explained. “I got a phone call from Mrs. Coyle last year telling me she was planning on retiring and asking if I would be interested in teaching because she wanted to keep the Japanese program alive. Obviously, I said yes”. 

While Courtney has found his way as a language teacher, Statuti has taken a different path. 

“After high school graduation, I went to school at Lancaster Bible College and got my bachelor’s in early childhood education. Unfortunately, I graduated pre-COVID and once Covid hit, I was trying to apply for jobs which was incredibly difficult. I eventually did get a job as a preschool teacher and I worked there for two years,” Statuti revealed. “Then I applied for jobs at North Penn, Souderton, and Pennridge and North Penn was the only one that called back. So now I am here”. 

Statuti graduated from North Penn in 2015 and is now back at her alma mater, teaching interior design and preschool lab. While much of the school building remains the same, Statuti has loved to see the other ways it has grown. 

“Nothing on the interior has changed, but it is fun to see how many of the programs are still going and what new programs are now being offered. For example, I am currently teaching pre-school lab, and I took pre-school lab when I was here. I am also teaching interior design now, and I never took the class but it is fun to see how that applies,” Statuti shared. 

Both Courtney and Statuti knew from an early age that they wanted to be in the education field. Now, finally fulfilling their dreams, the two youthful teachers are starting to experience the more complicated sides of teaching. 

“I was always interested in education when I was here. My mind was fully set on the education field,” Courtney revealed. “However, I am starting to see the difficulties with teaching. Growing up and always speaking Japanese, you never learn the technicalities behind why everything is structured grammatically so you kind of have to go through the process of reteaching yourself so that you can teach the students”. 

As Courtney has learned to overcome many of the obstacles of teaching, he will admit he has had a lot of support. 

“I talk to Mrs. Coyle all the time when I need help or advice. If she wasn’t here I don’t know what I would do,” Courtney admitted. 

While Statuti hasn’t had the unique experiences that come with teaching a language, she has had her fair share of unique opportunities that come with transitioning from the elementary level to the high school level. 

“It has been really cool to see both sides of teaching with younger and older kids, and I don’t really have a preference. People keep asking but it is hard to answer,” Statuti explained. “I like the maturity level that comes with high schoolers and the ability to have more built conversations, but at the same time, I miss that younger age where they need the teacher there. I feel like in high school sometimes you are learning alongside the teacher”. 

Although Statuti continues to claim she doesn’t have a preference, she does enjoy watching the way high school students interact, bringing almost a sense of nostalgia. 

“I love watching students make friends. I will have classes mixed with different grade levels and despite having an age difference everyone is always still able to bond,” Statuti shared. “I still have my high school friends so I think for me to see students make friendships they could have forever is great”. 

Stepping into a teaching position at such a young age has allowed Courtney and Statuti to use their modern teaching skills to connect with students and make their classrooms an environment where they can not only learn but also have fun. 

“For me, my Japanese class was my most memorable class because the teacher was great and it was fun to get to take a language. I think everyone should take a language and I always try and make my class as fun and enjoyable as possible so my students now can have the same enjoyable experience, that I had when I took that class,” Courtney revealed. 

As Courtney and Statuti continue to become reacquainted with North Penn, they hope to continue to grow and take advantage of the amazing opportunities that lie ahead of them. 

“I have learned a lot. I am starting to see things, especially on the administrative and planning side, which I was never exposed to as a student,” Courtney shared. “I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to be able to teach here and am really excited for what is ahead.” 

View Comments (1)

Comments (1)

All The Knight Crier Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • W

    Willa MaglandFeb 26, 2024 at 10:42 pm

    Two incredible stories!! It’s so strange how time works, 2015 and 2019 seem like yesterday… I wonder who in our year will come back and teach!

    Peyton— Your articles are consistently clear and very well written. They always impress me! Thanks for the great journalism 😁