Some of the best students and teachers in Louisiana are right here in Gueydan, and we think they deserve some recognition, so this is our chance to get to know them a little better. This is our GHS Staff Spotlight on our assistant principal, Mrs. Tiffini Brigola.
What is your name?
What do your students call you?
Ms. Tiffini, Ms. B, or Mrs. Brigola
How long have you been teaching? How long have you been at Gueydan High?
I've been in education since 2000, having taught for 16 of those years. I've been at GHS for 3 years.
What was your favorite subject when you were in school?
My favorite class was English, of course, but I also liked business classes like Keyboarding and General Business Applications.
What do you love most about being a Gueydan Bear?
I love being allowed to be a part of a community that is so involved and supportive of our school. I love that passion that the community has for Gueydan history and GHS traditions. I also really love that there are so many windows and open areas at our school. I enjoy walking around our campus.
Who or what inspired you to be a teacher?
My high school English teacher saw something in me and encouraged me to share my academic strengths with others. She even allowed me to shadow her and teach under her while I was in college. I owe a lot to her because she was the one who inspired me to teach English.
What's the farthest you've ever been from home?
I traveled a lot when I was younger: Japan, the Philippines
What's your favorite team(s)?
Hmmm... the Bears? Other than the Saints, our Bears are the only other athletic team I root for.
Do you have any collections? If so, of what?
I used to collect different things like cups from parades, stickers, and such, but I let go of those things once I became a mother. I think that, if I collect anything now, it would have to be t-shirts. I have tons of t-shirts from every school I've worked at or gone to.
What's your favorite meal?
I like home-cooked meals. My favorite would have to be roast beef and gravy with potatoes and carrots.
What's something you learned through failure?
Most of the things I've learned in life I have had to learn through failure. The most recent lesson I've learned is that I have to let some things go and trust in and rely on others to help me because I cannot successfully do everything I want to do at the quality and time I expect it to be done all by myself. It was a very hard lesson to learn, and I'm still working on it, but learning that lesson has helped me better balance between family, graduate school, and work.
What does leadership mean to you?
To me leadership means using your strengths to help others find their own gifts and talents so that they can use them to contribute to the world in some way, in some positive, creative, and helpful way.
If you could go back in time to when you were your students' age and give them advice, what would it be?
DON'T QUIT. Don't quit or be so quick to give up on things that you're struggling with. Struggle is temporary, but the skills you learn and knowledge you gain from trying and practicing cannot be taken away from you. I feel like young people miss out on so many opportunities and experiences because they give up too soon because they think something is "too hard" or won't pay off in the end.
What's one thing people would never guess about you?
When I was in college, I used to get up on stage with a rock band every weekend and sing cover songs by Alanis Morrissette, No Doubt, and Concrete Blonde. I was cool a really long time ago. :D
Do you have any favorite memories from your time in school?
I have so many wonderful memories from when I was in school. I guess that's why I wanted to be a high school teacher. My high school years were wonderful, and I loved it all: football games and pep rallies, traveling to away games, reading Romeo and Juliet in English class, and even eating lunch with my friends. It was a great time for me.
Could you tell us a little about your family?
Me and my family live a little east of Gueydan in the community of Meaux. My husband's name is Keith, and we have two daughters, Breelyn and Abigail. Breelyn recently graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is a new teacher in Lafayette. Abigail is in fourth grade and loves to dance and sing.
What are a few things you couldn't live without?
I used to love to think about three things I would have to have with me if I were ever stranded on a deserted island, but I struggled so much trying to pick only three. The first thing that always came to my mind was music. I would definitely need to have my favorite songs to listen to--music is my therapy. I would also need pencils and paper because I love to draw and write. Last, I would probably want a fuzzy blanket because I like to be comfortable and cozy.
What's your favorite quote?
"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." Confucius