Bruce Frankel

Author of the new book "What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life? True Stories of Finding Success, Passion, and New Meaning in the Second Half of Life."

Nancy Gagliano

A Time to Teach

“I would like to become a full-time teacher, but is there a principal in his right mind who would hire a sixty-six-year-old woman as a new teacher?” Nancy asked the secretary of the school where she was substitute teaching.

Despite outstanding high school achievements, Nancy was denied a college education as a young woman. But after overcoming adversities, including the death of a child, the native Chicagoan finally realized her childhood ambition in 2002 when she was hired to teach second grade at Banyan Elementary School in Sunrise, Florida. Her flamboyant storytelling, energetic style, and nurturing presence quickly made her a favorite with students and parents alike.. She retired from teaching in late 2009.

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< Her second graders were dubious of the stories Nancy told about her youth, such as driving a stock car at Raceway Park in Chicago or modeling, until she brought in proof. At left, Nancy walks a runway at a fundraiser for the 10th Ward Democratic Club (circa 1975).