Nowak: A Cruise Ship Singer?

Ms. Gail Nowak



By Sarah D.

Gail L. Nowak, is a woman of many talents, but here at Richardson, everybody knows her as a fun sixth grade teacher. She has been a teacher for the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. Right from the start, Nowak was a good girl in her private Catholic grammar school, St. Williams. She never got in trouble with the strict nuns and she got straight A’s.

“I had two loving parents and I have one sister, Elaine,” said Nowak.

She lived in suburban Buffalo, New York until 1978, when she moved to California.

After elementary and high school, Nowak went to State University College in Buffalo and got her Bachelors Degree there. Then, in California, she went to Cal State Fullerton to get her Masters Degree. Nowak’s major was Elementary Curriculum and Instruction and her minor was English.

Nowak’s first teaching job was back in Buffalo at the same grammar school she had attended as a child, but it was not full time. After moving to California, she substituted for a while, finally got a full time job at Woodcrest Elementary in Fullerton and was there for ten years teaching fifth and sixth grade.  She began teaching music, chorus and then musical productions.  Two productions took third place in the Orange County Drama Competition.

“[Teaching is] challenging, but working with kids is one of my passions,” said Nowak.

Her favorite part about teaching is seeing kids light up with learning. She became a teacher because she “always knew” that she would be good at it. Her preferred subjects to teach are her enrichment class, which is Singing, Dancing, and Drama. Her second favorite is English.

If Nowak had not become a teacher, her dream occupation would be “A singer… on a cruise ship!”

Nowak’s life is much more than teaching! She loves to read, travel, go to concerts, listen to music, and take photographs. She also enjoys plays, but her favorite would have to be The Phantom of the Opera and her favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz and any movie with Johnny Depp in it, which is her favorite actor.

Nowak also has owned many cats, which is one of her favorite animals, the other, dolphins.  Her preferred music artists are the Beatles and Stevie Wonder.  If you walk by her door Period Four, you can hear one of these artists’ music being played and sung by her students.

Nowak also used to play the guitar. She has a large collection of China cups and saucers and Beatles memorabilia that she has obtained over the years. She also used to sing in bands, as well.

“Well, something that this year’s kids may not know about me is that I am a ham. I love the stage and acting,” said Nowak.

Also, when she and her sister get the chance, they sing and harmonize together. One starts to sing while playing the piano and the other jumps in with harmony.

Nowak will always be a shining star at Richardson.  We are so glad she chose teaching over singing on the high seas!

Editor’s Note:  “Do You Want To Know A Secret”?

It is with a tremendous mix of emotions that we announce that Ms. Gail Nowak will be retiring this June. After forty years of dedicated service to teaching and her students, Ms. Nowak has decided to move on to another chapter in her life.  We will miss her and the Beatles music that fills the air and our halls.  We wish her well as she tries new endeavors which are sure to be a huge success.

Best Wishes, Ms. Nowak!  Thank you for everything you have done for RMS and the students who were most fortunate to have had you as a teacher.  You will be greatly missed.

To “Her Majesty” Gail Nowak,

“Thank you Girl”.  “‘Till There Was You”, students did not know they had a “Ticket To Ride” the wave of English, Social Studies, and educational Beatles’ songs.  “The Long And Winding Road” and your “Words Of Love” have always been “Something” to treasure. “With A Little Help From My Friends”, “I Call Your Name”  and as you go “Here, There, And Everywhere”  I want you to know that you have made a difference in “My Life” and others. I wish you well as you “Slow Down” and enjoy “Watching Rainbows”.  “Yesterday” has passed, but it is true to say “To Know Her Is To Love Her” and we envy those who will meet you next who “Will Sure To Fall In Love With You”.  Enjoy “What You’re Doing”, and don’t forget to stop by, “Like Dreamers Do”, and visit us. We will once again say, “Here Comes The Sun”. 

“All My Loving”,

Richardson Middle School

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