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The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

Ms. Pighetti makes huge impact on LHS students

Ms.+Pighetti+makes+huge+impact+on+LHS+students

“I would describe Ms. [Heather] Pighetti as someone with a very infectious personality and a person who is very empathetic and compassionate towards everyone she meets,” says Junior Brianna Scibelli,

Ms. Pighetti is an inclusion teacher at Ludlow High School. This means that she teaches in different classes every day, working with multiple subjects and with multiple grades. Inclusion teachers work primarily with special education students, making sure that they have all the resources they need and can succeed in their academics. However, she tries to help and work with every student in the class. Working with multiple subjects allows her to stay interested in her teaching, as opposed to a standard teacher, who may get bored with his/her subject. 

Pighetti was inspired by her 10th grade English teacher to pursue teaching. This teacher, named Mrs. Kokonowski, taught in a new way that allowed Pighetti to learn in a fun and effective way. Pighetti said she was her favorite teacher because she made an effort to connect with the students and you could tell she “really cared about us”. Having this teacher made Pighetti realize she’d like to take on teaching as a career and implement her love of literature into her day-to-day job, something she hadn’t previously considered. 

Afterward, Pighetti attended Westfield State University, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in English Literature as well as a master’s degree in special education. Multiple aspects of the school, including the English department, students, campus, connections, and extracurricular opportunities, made her fall in love with the school. Pighetti was able to commute and get a good education for an affordable price.

Following college, Pighetti worked for 23 years as an English teacher. She liked the job, but had been doing it for a long time. A friend of hers worked at Ludlow High School and one day called to let her know of a job opportunity there. The friend thought Pighetti would fit in perfectly, and although she wasn’t originally sure, once she’d taken the interview she agreed. Pighetti liked the change and the opportunity to “stimulate [her] brain”. She became an inclusion teacher, meaning she worked in different classes of all subjects throughout the school day. Pighetti got to work with lots of new subjects, such as science, which she had never taught before, and history, which she had only taught in conjunction with a World Literature class.

Pighetti loves all of the staff at LHS, because “everybody’s supportive of each other, people help each other; it’s just a really nice faculty here.” She called LHS a place that “you know you fit into if you really love everyone.” She enjoys her job, and the people here make her look forward to coming to work each day, which is what everyone should look for in a job: “something that you feel fulfilled in.”

In addition, Pighetti loves working with and getting to know the students. One of her favorite things about teaching is “having an impact on [a student’s] education” and watching them grow over the years. She described it as something so meaningful. The students themselves have taught her a lot about herself. “When I teach, I learn.” Sometimes when she’s teaching, Pighetti’s students show her a topic in a new light, or pose a question she never would have thought of herself. “It’s like a lifelong career, being able to learn new things.” At the same time, Pighetti just likes to laugh with kids and enjoy their sense of humor. Laura Murphy, an LHS parent, said “Ms. Pighetti is kind, compassionate, and truly cares about her students; she goes above and beyond, and that’s what sets her aside.”

Junior Brianna Scibelli said “High school can be very stressful at times and having someone there to help and guide you will make the experience so much smoother. For me, Pighetti has been that person. Whether it’s in the classroom or just a quick check-in while walking in the hallway. She has made a forever lasting impact on my high school experience and I couldn’t thank her enough for all she does for the students and to make LHS a better place.”

When asked about her favorite memory with Pighetti, Brianna talked about a sentimental experience during her freshman year. “My friend Bella and I were struggling with a death that just occurred in our school, just as everyone else in the building was. Everywhere you looked there were people crying and holding each other trying to comfort one another through this tough time. Pighetti however was the biggest supporter and always there to listen. She would cheer us up by telling us funny memories of this person and checking in on how we were feeling each day.”

If Pighetti could give some wisdom to her students, she would tell them that high school “doesn’t define who you are for the rest of your life”. It’s just the beginning of a journey, and when you get to college “the whole world will open up for you”. Life is so much more than high school, and just a small fraction of your life. “20 years from now, it really won’t have an impact.”

Being an inclusion teacher means that Pighetti is in different parts of the building each day, so it can be difficult to find her. However, every Thursday she meets with the GSA club (Gender Sexuality Alliance), which she’s the advisor of. This club features LGBTQ+ students and allies, and is an inclusive place where anyone can hang out.

Outside of school, Pighetti has plenty of hobbies and interests. She loves to travel, and visits her family in Italy every few years, as well as Cape Cod every summer. One of her favorite places is New York City, where she loves to spend time with her wife. Reading is another hobby of hers (hence why she originally became an English teacher); some of her favorite authors include Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Steinbeck, as well as Donna Tartt or Barbara Kingsolver for something contemporary. She loves playing guitar (and used to play in a band) as well as riding her bike and seeing musicals and plays. She used to race BMX nationally. One of her favorite pastimes, though, is spending quality time with her family. 

“I am also a lover of animals. I plan to adopt another dog this summer,” she said.

Overall, Ms. Pighetti is an inspiring figure to students and has had a huge impact on LHS. She regularly takes time out of her day to help and work with her students in order to make sure they have all the resources they need and are fully capable of understanding. She also makes an effort to create a trusting bond with her students so that they’re never afraid to reach out. She creates a fun learning environment in every classroom she steps into.

Ludlow parent Laura Murphy said “Ms. Pighetti is the kind of teacher that everyone will remember as a constant source of positivity and encouragement.” I think that summarizes her very well. Her efforts can be felt around the school, and so many students, parents, and staff owe so much to her.

 

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About the Contributors
Eva Lasky
Eva Lasky, Staff Writer
Eva is apart of the class of 2025. This is her first year writing for the Cub. She loves both reading and writing. In her free time, she also enjoys listening to music, baking, traveling, and spending time with her loved ones. She’s excited to begin writing for the Cub!
Isabella Murphy-Rodriguez
Isabella (Bella) Murphy-Rodriguez is a part of the Class of 2025 at LHS and her first year on the Cub as a staff writer. In her free time, she loves to read and listen to music. After graduating, Bella plans to go to college to major in psychology and become a therapist. She is very excited to start writing and creating for the Cub!

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