Four down, three to go

Science teacher Allison Privitt takes a year off from teaching to travel the world


Photo Courtesy of Allison Privitt

Always looking for a new adventure, Chemistry and Physics teacher Allison Privitt goes canyoning for the first time. Canyoning involves navigating a mountain stream using a variety of techniques. “That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done, it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m doing it again this summer,” Privitt said.

Whether jumping off a plane, swimming with sharks or traveling around the world, Chemistry and Physics teacher Allison Privitt is always on a new adventure. Privitt believes teaching has become a chapter in her life that is no longer providing that for her, so she is taking a year off to discover different lifestyles.

“I love to travel. I like learning, and I like life, and teaching for the past decade has been my world that I’ve poured into and learned and mastered. I enjoy a challenge, and at this juncture in my life, teaching isn’t as challenging,” Privitt said.

Privitt found it difficult to live out her dream because of work responsibilities.

“How do you explore other things when your job is more than a nine to five? It’s 24/7. It feels like, at times, the summers aren’t long enough to pivot, so that’s why I’m taking a year off. I tell my students this all the time, don’t chase money, don’t chase something that will make you unhappy. It’s okay to pause and redirect. It would be kind of counterintuitive for me not to do those same things that I talk about so freely in my classroom,” Privitt said.

Privitt has built connections with her students, like junior Abigail Wheeler.

“She’s a teacher that I like to write down for a lot of things. If I have to have a teacher recommendation for anything, she’s the one I go to. She helped me get my first job [coaching at HINRG Gymnastix],” Wheeler said.

Traveling to all seven continents, being on the show “Survivor,” and tutoring are just some of the goals Privitt plans to accomplish during her year off. Still, one of the main reasons she is walking away from teaching is spending more time with her grandfather.

“I have one living grandpa left, and I really want to spend one more time with him. My parents and grandpa live in northern Wisconsin, so I’m going to spend more time with them. When you’re a teenager, you don’t necessarily appreciate time with your parents, but as you get older, you want to come back to that security,” Privitt said.

Freshman Alaina Bright sees Privitt’s decision as an action to look up to.

“I am sad, but I am very happy for [Privitt] because she always knows what she’s doing. She needs more, she needs to go explore other things, live her life. Being a teacher, it’s fine I guess, but Mrs. Privitt, she likes skydiving, mountain diving and volcano diving,” Bright said.

Privitt taking only a year off gives her the option to return to teaching, but she does not know how the rest of her life will turn out.

“Honestly, I don’t know what the next year is going to bring. I don’t see it as forever, it’s a see you later. You have to be open minded to life taking you in different directions and feeling the flow of life and being okay with change,” Privitt said.