The Upper Campus Welcomes Their Youngest Faculty Member Yet


The year Hurricane Andrew slammed Miami and Bill Clinton was elected President, the youngest member of our faculty was born. Bucci is originally from Woodstock, Connecticut, a small town in the Northeast. She lived in Woodstock her entire life until moving to Florida to teach.

In addition to being a new teacher at ODA, math teacher Gabriella Bucci is also teaching for her first time. Before Bucci was offered the job at ODA, she was a senior at Union College in New York.

Her high school teachers are the reason she decided she wanted to teach. Her teachers had such a positive influence in her life. She had always known that she wanted to do something with math, but wasn’t sure exactly what. When she was in college, a couple of her former teachers suggested she look into teaching and expressed their love for the profession. After thinking about it, she realized it was something she would love to do.

Bucci sent her resume and other application materials to a teacher recruiting service called Carney, Sandoe, and Associates. They put her in touch with ODA, and she became very interested in the school. She liked that ODA was similar to her high school with the sense of community and that the school focused on the student as a whole being well rounded.

Within days of her submitting her resume. Former head of Math Department, Ms. Robbins called saying that she “really liked her resume and they were looking for a young teacher.”

Then, when she came to interview in early may, she fell in love with ODA.

“I was so nervous and excited. I got to meet so many students, faculty, and staff and hear all the many reasons why they loved ODA,” says Bucci.  The visit is mostly a blur, but looking back, she remembers Cammy Harris to be very welcoming

After interviewing at ODA, Bucci returned to college to present her senior thesis on comparing statistical models in mixture experimentations. Finishing her thesis and presenting it was the last big hurdle of college. The reality of college ending was truly setting in for her.  Within a few hours, her post college life was starting.

Her father helped move her here in August. They loaded up a moving truck and drove from Connecticut to Sarasota where she soon began her teaching career.

She has really enjoyed all of the classes that she is teaching this year.

“They all have their benefits; It would be difficult to pick a favorite. I love the foundation of Algebra 1, the problem solving in Algebra 2, and the challenges of Precalculus,” says Bucci.

When asked about the challenges she faces while teaching, Bucci says that most difficult situation is classroom management because she was never taught that. But, Bucci sees her youth as an advantage. She says that being close in age allows her to share similar experiences with her students which she hopes may help them.

When Ms. Bucci was in high school, many of her teachers were close in age, so now that she is a teacher, having students close in age to her does not seem odd. However, for many ODA students, this is new.


“It is nice to have a young teacher that I can relate to with the topics unrelated to class, for example her and I have watched a ton of the same shows on Netflix and it’s fun to talk to a teacher about stuff like that, because that is not common at ODA,” says Senior Katie Lang.

Adjusting to the world of work hasn’t been the only change for Bucci. Moving to Florida away from friends in the Northeast has also been an adjustment.

“I have really enjoyed living in Florida. I especially love it now that it is getting very cold and snowy back home. However, I did miss the beauty of New England fall,” says Bucci.

“No matter where you are, life after school is very different. You won’t be able to easily make friends in your classes, in your dorm, at sporting events, or any of the many other on campus activities. I do try and get out and join yoga classes and other groups so I can meet people in the area while having fun doing activities I enjoy,” says Ms. Bucci on the aspect of social life here in Sarasota.

Bucci has definitely brought new life into the Math Department. We are happy to have Ms. Bucci in our ODA community and look forward to the many years ahead!