Florian Palucci: Who are they?

Who is Florian Palucci? Most of WY doesn’t know this new art teacher yet, but there is no way that you could miss them. The first thing you’ll notice is their amazing hair, their quirky sense of fashion, and who could miss that adorable smile? Florian Palucci is one of the newest addition to WY’s arts department! Mr. Palucci– or that’s not right, no mister, just Palucci… that’s not quite it, either. Florian.

Within five minutes of meeting Florian, you’ll realize why they aren’t like many other teachers around. Florian identifies as a non-binary transgender person. They explain it as, “the transgender just means that [they] don’t identify with [their] gender assigned at birth, and non-binary means [they] don’t identify as being specifically male or female.” You probably haven’t noticed that there is a unisex bathroom very close to Florian’s classroom; accessible by students and teachers alike. If you’re more interested in the whole idea and concept of gender identity, you can check out Florian Palucci’s book: Are You Having Trouble With My Gender?, set up in the art gallery.

However, using gender neutral pronouns isn’t the only way Florian likes to be addressed differently.They tell us not to call them by last name, but just by their first name: Florian. Not only is the confusion of being called “mister” or “miss” Palucci avoided, but it also helps them be closer to their students. They believe that teachers choosing to go by last name only is a way of separating themselves from their students and establishing some sort of dominance. During a short interview, Florian explained how becoming a teacher works. From college courses, student teaching and a plethora of interviews, Florian landed the job as a multitalented art teacher. While they know basic knowledge in sculpture, they are proficient in many other areas including film, graphic design, art history, drawing, painting and the analysis of art. They believe being a teacher, and an art teacher no less, is about caring for others and supporting the students more than the self.

All in all, Florian is the latest member to WY family. As one student, Juan Soto ‘17 puts it,  “Florian is relatively young and has a much different view on life and teaching than most.”  Other students such as  Janaya Horton ‘17 find Florian to be “a giant burst of energy to my long day of school.” Even students who haven’t met Florian want to get to know them. Safiyah Bynum ‘17 says “haven’t met them, but I really want to! I heard they’re a really cool teacher!” To find out more about Florian, you can visit them in room 178.