Class Act

(WSVN) - Many of us have had a teacher who guided us through a tough time, but for some South Florida students, the time has come to honor a teacher who helped them. 7’s Lynn Martinez has the story of this “Class Act.”

Students: “We love you, Mr. Nardone!”

David Nardone: “Oh, my God! They’re not little kids anymore!”

Drama teacher David Nardone has watched thousands of kids grow up on his stage at Palmetto Middle School.

David Nardone: “I first started teaching 23 years ago.”

And like all teachers, he is proud to see his students succeed.

For Brooke, Mr. Nardone was a true inspiration.

Brooke Sterling: “He really took care of me, almost like a father. He created a safe haven for me, which is what he did for so many kids.”

One thing his students loved the most? His unique way of calming them down before taking the stage.

Brooke Sterling: “He’d just look at them, he’d grab them by the shoulders, look them in the eye and be like, ‘Don’t suck!'”

But this year, Mr. Nardone received some devastating news.

David Nardone: “In July of this year, I was diagnosed with lung cancer, and I had to leave teaching.”

His doctor was amazed by the way Mr. Nardone was more concerned with his classroom than with his cancer.

Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez: “It was painful, and it’s incurable. It was devastating. All he could think about was the students, how would the students deal with this?”

Students: “We love you, Mr. Nardone!”

His students decided to pay tribute to their teacher. They honored him in superstar fashion — on stage!

Robin Barson, Palmetto Senior High drama teacher: “There’s no greater tribute than for your kids to come back and say, ‘This is what we learned’ and ‘This is how much we appreciate you.'”

Brooke headed up the project with help from other students and teachers.

Brooke Sterling: “Kids were coming out of the woodwork to come and be a part of this. It was really special.”

Livvy, sophomore: “I thought it was the best idea.”

Charles, senior: “This is the ultimate way to give back.”

Nardone was sick the day of the show and had to watch from home on Facebook Live, but he and his doctor say the performance was the best medicine.

Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez: “That really gave him a lot of hope.”

David Nardone: “They say that I’ve made an impact on their life. They’ve done the same for me.”

And in true Nardone fashion, he left them with this simple phrase…

David Nardone: “Don’t suck!”

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Mr. Nardone. We have a link to that page and to the video of the student’s performance below.

FOR MORE INFO:

Mt. Sinai Medical Center:
http://www.msmc.com/doctor/estelamari-rodriguez/

GoFundMe for Mr. Nardone:
https://www.gofundme.com/2joi4k4
Watch Mr. Nardone’s Show Here:
https://www.facebook.com/brooke.ashley.sterling/videos/1254063531282429/

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