Jacquie Sica, Health Teacher and Related Arts Team Leader, Burleigh Manor Middle School
Posted: April 26th, 2017
Burleigh Manor Middle School’s Jacquie Sica “provides a safe space for all students. The kids respond to her practices in the health classroom, which leads to good relationships and a general comfort level. She’s someone students and staff feel comfortable going to and know will take initiative,” said assistant principal Kim Scaife.
Sica teaches Health Education to all grade levels, ensuring her classes are creative and challenging. Classes include movement breaks and often healthy student-led competition since “Competing” is a top strength for the school. Sica likes to partner with other content areas for interactive activities. For example, she worked with an ELA teacher to create the interactive game, Battle to Stay Alive, for the disease unit. And most importantly, Sica wants the students to know that health information changes, so she encourages them to practice accessing reliable resources on their own.
Sica was drawn to health education because of her many positive experiences with athletic trainers growing up. Also, Sica said, “I chose health because I wanted to talk to kids about what’s relevant to their daily life. Topics, such as suicide prevention, show the students we care, and they can reach out for support.”
Building student relationships is Sica’s favorite part of the job. After coming out publicly this year, she admits, “I’ve been through struggles, so I can see struggles in others. Everyone’s figuring out who they are, no matter what, especially in middle school. It’s important for us to be there for each student as a whole.” Not surprisingly, some of Sica’s top Strengths include “Communication,” “Includer” and “Restorative.”
As the related arts team leader, Sica is a leader at Burleigh Manor. She’s known for her proactive approach to help the school run more efficiently, including taking it upon herself to organize the bus schedule. She’s shown her leadership in the county through her many years of coaching high school sports, and curriculum writing and assessment work for HCPSS Health Education.
Sica, originally from Syracuse, NY, came to Maryland to play lacrosse at Towson University. She switched from studying sports medicine to school health education after realizing her love of teaching during a student teaching placement. Sica has been with Burleigh Manor her entire teaching career. She came to HCPSS because “I always heard Howard County is where you want to be. I’m passionate about a comprehensive health program, and that’s offered here.”