Furiosi takes on AP Art, World History


photo by Sarah Hinnant

Furiosi passes out class material during her standard World History class. Taking over for former teacher Maria Coville, Furiosi also teaches AP Art History and AP World History.

During her senior year in college, Jessica Furiosi was sure of one thing – she would do anything to avoid a career in teaching. 

“I wanted to do something different from my mom and all of my aunts. I didn’t just want to be like ‘Oh, she became a teacher because her mom is a teacher,”’ Furiosi said. 

Though Furiosi had not decided on a career by her senior year of college, she promised herself that it would be far from what her mother pursued; she even wrote a college essay on how teaching would have no part in her future. However, when given an opportunity to study abroad while teaching English in Italy, she broke that promise, realizing that her passion lied where she least expected it. 

“I wanted to do something different, but I actually realized this is where I was meant to be. I [studied abroad] and I loved it. I think I was fighting being a teacher when it was really my thing, like my soul wanted to be a teacher but my brain didn’t,” Furiosi said. 

Though Furiosi would have enjoyed pursuing a career in art history, her time spent in Italy taught her that providing students with the opportunity to learn and grow is what made her want to continue teaching.

“My favorite thing about teaching is being the first person to introduce a topic to my students, and when they get excited, I get excited.”

After she graduated the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in Art History, Furiosi went on to work in finances. However, on her second day on the job, her husband, Oviedo High School science teacher William Furiosi, referred her to a vacant teaching position at the school. She taught art history for three years before transferring to Lake Mary, where she taught world history. Furiosi is now at Hagerty, set to start her ninth year of teaching.

“I applied because my son was born last year, and he’ll be going to elementary school at Carillon so I wanted to one day walk him to school,” Furiosi said.  

Following several teacher departures, including former teacher Maria Coville’s retirement, administration spent the summer filling the vacancies. According to principal Robert Frasca, the school was fortunately spared the worst of the ongoing teacher shortage, as all positions were filled by the end of June. Hired in Coville’s place, Furiosi joins the staff to take on AP Art History and AP World History.

Throughout the upcoming school year, Furiosi hopes to create an immersive learning environment by incorporating activities into the world and art history curriculum, one of which is an elaborate game that Furiosi created to demonstrate trade in world history. She also aims to help students encounter new cultures, develop an interest in traveling and realize their own potential. Having visited 13 different countries, she also hopes to use her love for traveling to enrich her courses as well. 

“I will talk about all my travels a lot in class because I want them to realize that anybody can do it, and so that I can show them the things we’re talking about in real life,” Furiosi said. “It makes history a lot more fun.”