Brianna Nez (’10) attended SMIS beginning in fourth grade. As an active student athlete, she enjoyed learn- ing and competing in volleyball, track, and basketball, where she received numerous awards such as Rookie of the Year for track. “Sports was a big motivation for me to stay on top of my grades throughout the school year,” said Brianna. While doing great in athletics, Brianna maintained her academic rigor earning her a mem- bership in the National Honor Society. She received the honor of Valedictorian in 2010 to wrap up her high school career. Brianna went on to attend Georgetown University in Washington, DC, to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Science in International Affairs/Rela- tions.
In 2016, Brianna became a teacher’s aide and soon transitioned to be the fifth grade teacher. Having taught a variety of subjects in middle school, this year she moves into the role of math teacher for grades eighth through 12th. Brianna gives acknowledgement to Brother David Landry, who helped her gain a greater appreciation of math. She wants to do the same for her students and feels that she has succeeded at that. “My favorite moments are the ones where everything comes together, and I can show my students how everything is related to each other. I can see the smiles on their faces because they get it and are blown away by how smart they are. They’ll usually say ‘Wow, Ms. Nez, my brain is going to explode [with knowledge]!” said Brianna.
Brianna’s biggest concern when switching to home learning in March to May was ensuring she was staying connected with her students, “I had to send out Google surveys and set up Zoom classes.” The surveys helped Brianna get feedback from parents and students while home learning. Though the chaos of the pandemic continued, Brianna was interested to know how her students were staying active.
Brianna appreciates the Catholic education she received and expressed this is the reason why she returned back to teach. “I feel so content and at peace with myself knowing that I am doing my best [at SMIS]” said Brianna adding, “I consider myself fortunate tO be among a strong beautiful Catholic community with former teachers I keep in contact with today.”
Her older, Larissa Nez, graduated from SMIS in 2007 and her younger sister, Lauralyn is a sophomore at SMIS.