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Honouring a Great Teacher and a Leader in GIS Education: John Nicolucci

A great teacher inspires their students to do amazing things. John Nicolucci is a respected and well-loved teacher in Toronto. He just retired after working for 18 years at Crescent School. Find out about the impact he had on his students and his contributions to GIS education in Ontario.

Great teachers inspire students and open their minds to a world of possibilities. John Nicolucci is a perfect example of a teacher who did just that.  This dynamic teacher and Head of Geography, worked at Crescent School for 18 years. He championed for geography to be taught in a computer lab, allowing students to use technology to learn about real world issues, and making the subject more interesting and fun through the use of interactive GIS software.

Throughout his years at Crescent, John’s teaching style influenced many of his students to study geography and GIS.  Alec Casey, a former student of John’s says he’s the reason he pursued an undergrad in Geography at the University of Waterloo. He remembers “Mr. Nic” as an energetic, supportive teacher who engaged students with interesting projects. Alec's currently working on his PhD at the University of Alberta, where he is using remote sensing and GIS to monitor Arctic sea ice.

Figure 1.1: John Nicolucci

John also shared his passion and knowledge of GIS with his colleagues and other teachers through the development of resources and industry outreach. Along with his former colleague Rex Taylor, they created a GIS workbook with ready to use lesson plans and held workshops at Crescent to introduce and train teachers on GIS.  John also worked with educators and the professional community to include and promote geography and GIS in the Ontario curriculum and in conferences and workshops.

John’s work to advance the use of GIS in education will continue with the program he helped to establish and by the support of the administration and his former colleagues at Crescent. Congratulations John on your retirement!  We look forward to hearing about what you will be doing next.

Thank you to Anjelien Slater and Alec Casey for your contributions to this blog post.

Please share your stories of John with us by leaving a comment below.

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Resource Developer on the Esri Canada Education and Research team. She has over six years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela is responsible for producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum specific resources, conducting and creating custom workshops for educators and judging and developing the question for the annual GIS Skills Ontario competition in Waterloo, Ontario. Angela has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Applied Digital Geography and GIS certificate program at Ryerson University.

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