After 15 years of teaching at Pace, Upper School French teacher Ms. Nancy Robinson is retiring. Since 2008, she has been a part of the Pace community not only as a teacher but as mentor to those around her. Robinson’s favorite thing about Pace is that “teachers have a lot of freedom in the classroom to form their classes how they want to. Students overall are very curious and receptive, and I have found them really easy to work with.” Robinson loves the working environment, opportunities given to both students and faculty and the overall confidence that the school places in everyone. “The vast available programs open to the students are incredible. The Isdell Center for Global Leadership (ICGL) has the potential to broaden a student’s understanding of how other people live and is an opportunity to be in contact with other cultures”. Robinson led two ICGL trips to India in 2012 and Peru in 2016. 

Robinson poses with her Post-AP French class full of seniors. PHOTO: Alice Gash

Robinson attended the University of Auburn and Birmingham Southern for her undergraduate degree, and then returned back to Auburn for her masters degree. Robinson grew up in central Florida and gained a love for the French language at a young age. “French has always been my thing from junior high on”, said Robinson. “I was lucky to have such a great teacher in the 8th grade to help me learn French”. Prior to her time at Pace, she lived in Birmingham and in Amsterdam for 2 years. She also taught at Lovett for 7 years but is “definitely Pace blue at heart”, said Robinson. 

Robinson will miss most all of the smiling faces walking around. “It has been really gratifying working at Pace. There has been students who have come back after graduating and tell me that they are continuing with French in college or minoring in it or using it in a number of different ways and that’s super exciting”, said Robinson. “I will miss lots of things about this special place, I have just really really enjoyed my time here and how I have been able to make a difference for a number of students and that makes me happy.” Robinson will also miss all of the wonderful traditions in the Upper School like Great American Picnic Day that always takes place at the end of the year with a cookout, water fights and dodge ball. “GAP is a really happy day, and the kids really enjoy it, and everyone is just in complete joy”, said Robinson. “I will also miss seeing the senior pranks. My favorite one was when the senior class put all of the desks from the classroom onto the front lawn. Luckily someone carefully numbered the desks with their corresponding room. It was just pretty funny.”  

Robinson wants to leave students with one last piece of advice before leaving: “I love the sign on Ms. Barbakow’s door that says “Be kind and do good”. Always work hard and be nice to people. It’s real simple. You usually receive back what ever you’re getting.” Robinson also said to “show people grace because you never know what someone is going through”. Ms. Robinson also wants to share her favorite quote that has stuck with her. The quote is from Saint-Exupery from the Little Prince: “You only see well with your heart what is essential and most important is invisible to the eye.”  

After Pace, Robinson looks forward to not getting up super early every day. She wants to travel, read lots of books, spend time with her daughter and take tai chi. “Beyond those things I haven’t really planned. I’m going to let things settle and figure out the rest” said Robinson. 

“She taught me so much, and I loved having her class freshmen and senior year. She was an amazing teacher, and I will miss her so much,” said senior Eloise Gaudet.

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