Pivot North Valley Educational Coordinator Tom Lando loves to teach, and it wasn’t until he was an undergraduate student at CSU, Chico that he considered becoming a teacher. “I worked as a part-time aide while in college, and watching students be their best selves and stretch themselves to learn, and getting to be a part of that, was amazing.”

Tom grew up in Chico and Portland and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from CSU, Chico. As a teacher’s aide, he was amazed and inspired by the difference one person could make when they paid attention to a student’s needs and desires — especially in a flexible system that could adapt to those needs. When Tom found Pivot, he knew it was a perfect fit for him. “The moment that excites me about teaching is when you reach a troubled kid, and for a while, they come out of their shell and get excited about learning,” Tom said.

While Tom positively describes life at Pivot North Valley as “froyous,” which is a combination of joyous and frantic, he says that what sets Pivot apart from traditional public schools is Pivot’s “ability to focus on and adapt to the needs of each student. Nothing about Pivot is one-size-fits-all.”

Tom enjoys teaching social studies, especially community and political involvement, or math. Cooking is also a passion he likes to teach to students; however, the most rewarding thing about being an EC at Pivot is the impact the students have on him. “Seeing these students from all walks of life come together and interact and form friendships and work groups – it really gives me hope for the future.”