Posted onNovember 15, 2018
Words byNicola McCormack
Photographed byGrace Rivera
Produced and directed byYouMe Lin
If you are lucky enough to have had a teacher who inspired you, someone who helped get you on the right track, and whose name you still recall, you might recognize similar traits in Nicholas Ferroni, an educator of 16 years whose profession is clearly his calling. The former actor puts his thespian skills to good use teaching History and Cultural Studies at Union High School in New Jersey, and his innovative methodologies, such as integrating pop culture and music into his lessons or employing social experiment techniques, are all geared to keeping his students engaged.
Outside the classroom, Nicholas has received a number of accolades. He’s been named one of the 25 Fittest Men in America by Men’s Fitness magazine—you might also want to check out his Preach What You Practice PSA, calling out the hypocrisy of top athletes who endorse products that contribute to childhood obesity. He was featured in the 100 most influential people in America for his Teach the Truth campaign, calling for minority figures and women to be included in Social Studies, and his commitment to education reform, while his advocacy and support for LGBTQ youth earned him Upstander of the Year by the HRC (Human Rights Campaign). And then there’s the Sexiest Teacher Alive award in PEOPLE magazine’s Sexiest People Alive issue, which gained him access to the chat show circuit, and another platform to further promote the causes he holds dear. There are many great teachers out there, but not all of them have 34.5k followers on Twitter and 24.2k on Instagram in which to champion America’s public education system and promote ways it could be improved.
We invited Nicholas to the Zachary Prell showroom to try on some of our clothing, and discuss the teachers who inspired him, learning through experience, and helping to change how society sees, values, and even pays teachers.
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