English Department Head
Nina grew up in Buffalo, NY where she attended an eccentric little school called Calasanctius, and survived the Blizzard of ’77. She graduated from Brown University in Providence, RI by the skin of her non-academic teeth, with a BA in African Studies. During this time Nina also participated in Crossroads Africa, a mini Peace Corps of sorts, which sent her to the tiny village of Kouto in Ivory Coast. Here she made stacks of dear friends and piles of concrete bricks by hand, contributing to the regrettable project of replacing traditional thatch-roofed cottages with modern buildings.
After being fired from her post-collegiate waitressing job at a classy French restaurant, where she’d been existing on smoky bowls of salmon pate and tall champagne flutes of mousse-au-chocolate, Nina packed up everything and hopped a plane to the Bay Area, where she’d always felt called to live. Here she was also fired from her next job as a nanny in the Berkeley hills.
Always one to land on her feet, Nina next scored the job of her dreams, riding horses and teaching lessons as an assistant to a talented Hunter-Jumper trainer in Orinda. She was not fired, but after a decade of the horsey-doggy-dusty life, was craving a day job where she could stay clean and better dressed. Soon she was managing a lovely variety of clothing, jewelry, and pajama stores, moving to the Coastside, having two impossible kids, and finally heading back to school for her teaching credential in Secondary English.
Nina was determined to go down with the ship of California Public Schools, until she read Animal Farm with a certain Sophomore English class, and realized that she was becoming Boxer the horse. Now, she pinches herself every day she comes to work at Fusion, where she is outrageously honored to share the reading, writing, and thinking lives of one adorable teenager at a time. In her off hours she enjoys and scolds her own children, practices hot yoga, reads whatever, and pinches herself some more.