Every student has had a teacher who has made a positive impact on their life. Many students would say Ron “Straz” Strazulla is one of those teachers. For 41 years the retired Florida High teacher has been an inspiration to scores of high school students.
Growing up, Strazulla was always responsible for looking after others. He is the oldest of two siblings and often helped his mother take care of them. The teacher started as a camp counselor for the Boy Scouts and his church. Strazulla had a natural way with children and patience for them, so it was only right that he pursued a career in teaching.
The Florida State University graduate obtained a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in English education. He taught at Wakulla High School for six years and in 1980 moved to Florida High.
During his time there, his goal was for students to experience “the fun of literature and composition.”
He found it rewarding to read and write and wanted to pass that along to his students.
Ashley Williams a fourth-year chemistry major at Florida State University, shared how much of an impact he has had on her academic career. “He taught me to love academic challenges, which is why I went for a major that challenged me.”
Strazulla used creative strategies to better educate students. One of the things he would suggest to students would be to act out the characters in the book while reading. This was a way to help students comprehend the material and be able to summarize and reflect on the literature being read.
“Staz always taught us that the best thing you could ever do is to be yourself and trust in what you believe. I am a better person for having him as a teacher and will be forever grateful for the lessons he taught so many of us,” said former student Bradley Gay.
Since retiring in 2016, he has joined his wife in operating their local antique shop, Canopy Roads Antiques. His wife Marcia has owned the shop for 25 years.
“It is something that we enjoy, collecting, we both end up over-collecting, so the store is a good way to share our collection and also let other people get involved with collecting,” he said.
Right now, the couple is looking forward to the holidays. Many regular customers use this time of year to purchase rare items for gifts for family and friends. Once you go into the store it is like you are in a time capsule with all your favorite historical memorabilia and childhood recollections.