Superior Sibling?


Alex Bhandari

Mr. Nemerow. Photo courtesy Alex Bhandari.

Brady Shafer and Alex Bhandari

Nathan Nemerow is one of the marvelous PE teachers at Gainesville High school.  

Both of my parents were teachers growing up, so I had a lot of exposure to both obviously being a student and then having parents as teachers, coaches, and then my two older siblings ended up being educators, one of whom is in the building, and it just felt right,” Mr. Nemerow said. “I always felt kind of comfortable connecting with people, and was a camp counselor growing up, and a babysitter, and teaching felt right.” 

Mr. Nemerow started college with paths in marketing and business appealing to him. In his junior year of college, he pivoted towards a path in education. After being largely subjected to teaching on both ends, it felt familiar and right. He went on to receive a master’s in special education from George Mason University. He initially taught at Pace West, then at Brentsville, heading to Battlefield, and now in Gainesville. 

“The moments that get me are the ones where students seem to experience something that makes them feel good, or connected, or like I accomplished something. When I have a student experience something like that, there’s this revelation of what I can do, or a boost of confidence, things like that is what gets me. It’s less about my specific experience, I think if you’re a teacher, coach, parent, anything, your, kind of live through your kids, and so when my kids have great moments then I have great moments. That’s the best, I mean I don’t think I could pull out specific examples,” Mr. Nemerow said. 

Mr. Nemerow is also an extremely versatile teacher. Now having taught for nineteen years, he’s spent time teaching fourth and fifth grade, social skills, algebra, earth science, AP seminar, and the unified PE program. He also taught emotionally disturbed, and learning disabled as far as special education goes. 

“I would say my biggest strength is probably, two things, I embrace the fact that, um there’s a lot of places where I’m not very good, and I wanna get better, I wanna get better all the time, I feel very vulnerable at times as a teacher where like, hey I didn’t hit the mark there, I can either just let that go or I’m gonna get better, I want it to go well, so I’m trying to improve all the time and I think that mentality is important, and then the other strength I think I have is connecting with people, and making kids feel that I actually care about them,” Mr. Nemerow said. 

Mr. Nemerow also acknowledges having weaknesses in teaching. He admits to having weaknesses as a teacher, coach, parent, human, but treats recognizing that as a strength, because you want to do well and add tools to your toolbox. 

Mr. Nemerow said, “My advice to students would be you know if you’re struggling, big or small, reach out to the folks, I mean I spend more time in this building than I spend with my family at home, so lots of teachers, lots of support staff, are invested in their students for the right reasons, so if and when problems arise, big small or in-between, connect with teachers, connect with counselors, connect with school staff ‘cause, ultimately we wanna help you guys.”