OCCUPATION: Second grade teacher at Springbrook Elementary School.
BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: Westerly.
RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Getting ready to meet and engage the minds of my new second graders!
I ENJOY SPENDING MY TIME: Getting together with family, going for walks with husband and my dog Rhody, beach days at the town beach with the Westerly crew, and reading.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Landing my dream job in Westerly! I truly feel like teaching in the town I grew up in is a dream come true.
I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: Bringing a positive vibe into people lives. I hope people can say I made them laugh, smile, and feel good about themselves. For my students past, present, and future, I hope I taught them more than just academics. I hope I helped them believe in their dreams, reach for them, and have confidence.
TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: To earn my master’s degree in ESL and become fluent in Spanish. I have had the privilege of working with the ELL students at Springbrook school for the past two years, and they have truly inspired me to go back to school and learn a new language.
WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a teacher. However, a dream of mine is to have a talk show called “Babble with Brooke.”
PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST: My mom, Rose Arnold, has taught me to be kind, and to go through life with a smile on your face, even when you feel like frowning. My dad, Zeke Arnold, has taught me to stand my ground and fight for what you believe in. My brothers, Josh and Luke, have taught me what it takes to raise respectful children and where to find the cheapest and coldest beer: Danny’s. My sister in law, Rosanna, has shown me you can be a hard worker and still a wonderful, dedicated mom. My nieces, nephew, and students have taught me to explore, laugh, and never stop learning. My friends have shown me they will always be there for me no matter what life throws at you. As for my husband, Dean, he has shown me what unconditional love is. He truly is my heartbeat. Lastly, my dog Rhody, well, he is preparing me for my biggest role yet, being a mom.
FAVORITE AUTHOR: Jane Green
BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: “The Late Bloomers’ Club,” by Louise Miller; “Sweet Little Lies, by Caz Frear; and “Your Pregnancy and Childbirth.”
I AM LISTENING TO: Podcasts! Currently: “Rise Together” and “Sword and Scale”
FAVORITE MOVIE: My all time favorite movie is “Jaws.”
LAST MOVIE WATCHED: “Hotel Transylvania,” with my three nieces.
FAVORITE TV SHOW: Hands down, “The Golden Girls.” Some of my favorite memories are watching it with my grandmother “Tutu” while playing rummy and eating Lorna Doones. I also credit Dorothy Zbornak for my sarcastic one liners, and Rose Nylund for being so gullible.
FAVORITE SONG: “Crazy In Love,” by the Queen Bee herself, Beyoncé.
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Pepperoni pizza with a side of blue cheese dressing.
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES I USE MOSTLY: Instagram
TRAITS I MOST ADMIRE: Honesty and humor
PET PEEVE: My top two would be when people scuff their feet while walking and when people use the exit door for entering and vice versa.
FAVORITE QUOTATION: “You get more bees with honey,” but if you ask Becky Jones, she’ll tell you I always say “Teamwork makes the dream work!”
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: There’s nothing better than getting a Dairy Queen with a couple of your girlfriends and taking the infamous beach drive from Watch Hill to Weekapaug.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: My family, Rose, Zeke , Josh, Luke; my nieces, Michaela, Dina, Sara and Frankie; my nephew, Cash; my husband, Dean; my friends, and of course my fur baby Rhody.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I still sleep with my baby blanket Mr. Beebs.
BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: What you give, is what you get.
ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE: You will get so much further in life if you have positive thoughts and positive vibes.
IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: Grant Universal health care for all and no child would go hungry. I would also make sure all the registers at Walmart and Stop & Shop were open at all times and lastly, paint parking lines at the Westerly Town Beach.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: Build college funds for my nieces, nephew, and my future children. I would also reopen Bradford school. Those rooms deserve to be filled with thriving, curious minds.
I DRIVE A: 2016 Black GMC Acadia.
I WISH I DROVE A: 2018 Black GMC Yukon Denali XL. (Dean, start working extra overtime)
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Orange juice for my husband and Pecorino cheese for me and my dog.
IF I COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, I WOULD INVITE: My late grandmother Dilly “Tutu” Lapietra. I would give anything to see her red lipstick stain on a glass of wine at Longo’s. But if Beyoncé wants to stop by for dessert, that’s fine too.
— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro