Mrs. Nehme

Gysselle Torres, Staff Writer

In the words of Chantel Nehme, “I really believe it’s important for you to have a voice, and voice your opinion, and know what’s going on around you, you need to be aware”. Mrs. Nehme has applied those quotes of advice to her life; her life has been ever-changing, evolving, and always active. Not only is she an English teacher, but she’s also an AVID teacher. 

Starting in Mrs. Nehme’s young life, living in Lebanon, and attending a private school was a huge part in her life. She would like to give thanks and credit to that, she believes it’s played a huge role in her morals

“My upbringing and my background, I did go to a private school run by nuns, where we had to wear uniforms, so you know I think that has to do a lot with how I carry myself,” Nehme said. 

Although she attended a private school, and was busy with that, she found herself having fun and quality time with her mother, learning how to bake. That hobby would be something she remains doing in her adult life. 

“I love baking, I don’t have a lot of time to do it right now but I really enjoy it,” she said. “My mom likes to cook and bake, she’s the one who got me into it.  I started helping her out around 10 or 11. I just like it, and not only that but I like to try new recipes, like dishes, ones from different countries.”

As she got older, she moved to Montreal, Canada, where she got  her bachelor’s degree. A unique thing about her is that her first career path was in Marketing and Sales, and she chose that because she was intrigued by ads and the way they were made.  

“I was really interested in how they put ads together, and the marketing behind it, and how you would persuade people to purchase something or a service,” Nehme said. 

When asked if she would go back to that career she said, “No, the reason I say that is because it was a very stressful job, teaching is a stressful job but it’s different. For me to go back right now I’d need to start from 0, and I don’t know if that’s something that would be easy for me especially now that I have a family and kids.” 

After meeting her husband and getting married, she moved to the states, and in her opinion all the moves and changes she’s made in her life have affected her. 

“I wouldn’t be the person I am if I didn’t move,” she told me in our interview. “I’m more aware of my surroundings, I’m more accepting, I’ve been exposed to so many things that it helps you look at things from different perspectives. I think that’s important to realize that somebody has a different story, maybe they see it differently.” 

Moving to this U.S. wasn’t easy, she faced problems with cultural acceptance. 

“We’re always worried about fitting in that we forget it’s okay to stand out a bit, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Nehme said. “We always wanna fit in, right? We always wanna act the way people want us to act, and do the things they want us to do, or even dress the way they want us to. There’s no reason to not be okay with who you are and your background, and where you’re from, and what your culture is.”

With the troubles she faced coming here, she also found the beauty in it, with something she feels so strongly about, which would be accepting of people. To quote her, “What’s great about the U.S. is that it’s a melting pot, there’s people from all around the world if you think about it, but we should always remember to not lose that uniqueness we have, because that’s what makes us special.” 

After leaving her jobs in marketing and sales, because she started her family, she became a substitute teacher, she found a passion to speak, and was inspired by the students and the spark in their eyes when they learned. She went back to school, and got her credentials to teach and became a student teacher here with Mrs. Leblanc. The rest is history and has been here ever since.

Although the Life of Mrs Nehme has changed , and when asked where she sees herself in 10 years she said “I believe I will still be teaching, or working at a school district in 10 years. I enjoy working with students.” We know she’ll be making waves, and inspiring others to never be ashamed of change and where they come from.