After a year of teaching and coaching, Spadoni moves onto Medical School


Alejandra Pagano

A science teacher, coach, and fellow runner, Nora Spadoni shined in her time at Masters. Her students, colleagues and fellow coaches will miss her dearly.

Sabrina Wolfson, Lead Opinion Editor

In just ten months as an Upper School Science teacher at Masters, Nora Spadoni managed to become a role model like no other, as a coach, friend, running partner, and safe haven for all students alike. 

Graduating from the University of Chicago in 2021 as an Anthropology major on the pre-med track, Spadoni’s love for teaching was instant. Throughout her four years in Chicago, Spadoni worked as a Teaching Assistant for the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division, and in the classroom as a tutor for Shoesmith Elementary, a public school in Chicago. Although Spadoni knew she did not want a career in education, she looked for ways to meld STEM and teaching, which led her to apply to medical school. 

Spadoni said, “I really liked noticing the tangible change in my students, even for something as small as sounding out a word or doing a specific type of math problem. So I just saw medicine as just a natural extension of that, because you’re really making an impact on a person either by treating them or just helping them feel more comfortable and seen.”

Taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT’s) during her senior year in college, Spadoni applied to 24 Medical Schools and decided to look for a teaching job to fill her gap year. At a hiring conference, Spadoni met Sam Savage, who introduced her to Masters and a potential teaching job. Months later, the recent graduate moved to New York City and began her daily  commute to Dobbs Ferry.

Not knowing which courses she would teach, Spadoni came in ready to embrace the challenge. Shifting from the perspective of a student to that of a teacher, she taught two sections of ninth grade Environmental Protection and Applications, Molecular Biology, Human Biology and Genetics.

Senior Caleb Jakes took both Human and Molecular Biology with Spadoni this year. 

Jakes said, “She’s great because she can really relate to us as students and there’s also this balance where she prioritizes getting work done while also talking to us about real life and learning from each other too.”

But Spadoni doesn’t just help students in the classroom, she is also a coach and running partner on the track. Running all throughout high school and regularly on her own, Spadoni decided to be an assistant coach for the Fall Cross Country team to try and set a good example for younger runners.

Spadoni said, “I think body image plays a big part in this sport and I wanted to show young female runners that you can be strong and love running, while nourishing yourself in the  right way and making this sport just as much about  mental health as it is about physical health.” 

After her season ended as a coach for the Cross Country team, Spadoni decided to stick with the team, coming to the Spring Track practices, just to get in a workout and run with students. 

Luciano Fiore, the Head Coach for Cross Country and one of the head coaches for Spring Track worked closely with Spadoni all year. 

Fiore said, “from the beginning, she was great at conneccting with the team and I really enjoyed working closely with her.”

While Spadoni was an inspiration to her students and a role model to the runners that looked up to her, she was also much like the Senior Class, navigating the gruesome process of applying to Medical School. 

After many applications, essays and interviews, Spadoni decided to commit to the University of Chicago Medical school. Having completed her Undergraduate Degree from this University, Spadoni is very excited to return. 

She said, “I really got pulled in by talking to current students and hearing about how they love the school and working hard, but also have time to go into the city and have time to themselves to take care of their wellness. I also love Chicago and I can’t wait to spend more time in the city.”

After being a teacher to both students in science courses and athletes on the track, Spadoni wishes to continue this line of work in the medical field.

Spadoni said, “After this year, I have really been asking myself: how can I make teaching a part of my medical career? How can I continue to have this joy and rewarding excitement of the energy in the classroom? I am really looking forward to finding the answer.”