Important to keep positive

Landstown HS positive swimmer Aug 2016

I think it’s important to always keep positive for whichever situation you’re in because it’s in that moment, if you try and think positive, that something can happen.  So, including sports, it happens a lot. I’m a swimmer and it’s always during that last moment I can always go a little bit faster. I think, “Let’s do this.”

 Have you been watching the Olympics?

Yes! 23 gold medals for Michael Phelps. It’s amazing.


Working with a team

Tech Center senior - masonry Option 2

I learned that working with a team is sometimes the best way to go because we couldn’t really get all this done by ourselves. We learned how to work together and being precise because, at the end of the day, someone has to live here. So, you learn care along with the brick work. It’s not just masonry.

I want to be a merchant seaman, but after that I plan on maybe starting my own company for masonry. It’s a good trade. The best part about it is that it’s your own artwork. It’s very hands on. You lay those bricks. You strike it up. You do everything. It’s not like a machine is doing this; it’s you. And it’s going to be here almost for forever.


Summer studies abroad

Summer Studies in Israel VBMS teacher

Last summer I was in Israel studying about engaging in the Middle East. I was accepted into a fellowship program to study for four weeks about the conflict, learn about the land and go see everything in person. I was asked if I would be interested in going back to Israel this summer. It came full circle. This time I will be leading a group of 25 college kids, and then I’m going to Italy, England and France.

Right now I’m focused on making it my summer mission for myself to learn more, bring it back and let it fill in the blanks for my teaching. This year I was a social studies teacher so it helped me out a lot. It was great and the kids loved hearing the stories and seeing the pictures. They thought it was so cool because most people don’t go [to the Middle East]. It helped me connect with middle schoolers more.


I want to be an airline pilot

Airline Pilot 8thGrader CLMS

I want to be an airline pilot. We have a lot of friends who fly because it’s a military area. Ever since I was really young I’ve been interested in airplanes and I watch them. I was just so fascinated with them, and I love traveling. For the past few years, we’ve been going to Mexico. We’re going to Hatteras this year. I kind of want to go across the United States just because I haven’t done that yet. I really want to go to California because of the beaches.


Growing Up Moving On

Tech Center Early Childhood OLHS senior

I’m passionate about playing softball. I’ve been playing since I was so little. I’m going to Virginia Wesleyan to play with Coach Elliott. They were No. 1 in the country for Division III. I’ll be close to home, so my family will be able to come watch me play along with all my coaches and teachers.

I want to be a child life specialist – just taking care of children. I love seeing kids smile, giggle and laugh. It puts a smile on my face. I could walk in and have the worst mood ever. Then I come here and they tell me jokes and try to make me laugh. I’ve really connected with some of the kids over the past two years. I’ve seen them progress from the beginning of last year all the way to the end of this year. They’re going to kindergarten next year and I’m going to college. We’re both growing up. We’re both moving on to a new school. Bigger and better things.


This is my passion


This is my passion. This is my life’s work. I love what I do. I really love kids. I had the awesome opportunity of working as a gifted resource teacher at Luxford Elementary when I first came to Virginia Beach about seven years ago. There are students I have kept in touch with to see how they are doing. I just met three former students from my second grade gifted cluster class at Panera for breakfast. I thought they were just going to want to talk to me for about an hour. We stayed until 11:48 a.m. They’re all doing well. They are all going to the IB program at Princess Anne High School. They had a lot to tell me and we had a lot to catch up on. I needed that. It’s a great reminder of why we do what we do, especially when you leave the classroom. You never know what kind of impact you’re going to have.


Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run BettieFWilliams teachers

Girls on the Run promotes positive body image, self-esteem and healthy habits like exercising and eating right. It gives our girls something to do after school besides just going home.

We both love to run and we get to share it with them which is nice.

It’s about two days a week for three months, and they work toward a 5K at the end which is a huge accomplishment. At the end of the 5K they are so proud of themselves. We took pictures this year. It was fun to see their faces as they crossed the finish line because, for a lot of them, it’s their first race. It’s a big deal.

It’s important for the girls because, in today’s world, body image is a big thing and getting them ready to go to middle school with a positive self-image is important.


I love high school

I Love High School - Tallwood Freshman

I love high school. I had the best freshman year. It was so much fun! Getting involved is one of the first things I wanted to make sure I did. So I applied for the Spanish Honor Society because my mom is from Spain and that culture is very important to me. I really want to get immersed in that. Just getting inducted was so important to me. I am so happy I went to the first SCA general assembly meeting and that I went to City-wide SCA. It’s started my path. I know what I want to do these four years.

What do you want to do?


Reading Reenergizing

Renergizing and Reading Parkway ES Krista B Arnold

What I love about summer is the opportunity to catch up on my reading and to reenergize. And what I love about being a principal is there is a beginning, a middle and an end. Then there is this opportunity to review my thoughts, reenergize and start planning to get that enthusiasm back up again. We’re in the middle of that right now. We’re all talking about doing schoolwide classroom meetings in the morning, so right now I’m reading everything I can about classroom meetings and responsive classrooms. I read a book a week. I have a stack on my nightstand. I usually try to read my book talk book, a book I want to read and then a professional book at one time.

Seize opportunities

Tech Center TV Program Landstown senior Option2

I always loved television and movies so much, but I never knew there was a class that offered this in Virginia Beach. It was my mom that got me into the Tech Center program. I wasn’t 100 percent sure how this was going to turn out for me, but she was right. She’s always been right.

My plans for the future are to go to Hampton University and major in journalism and communications. After that, I would love to work in the television and film industry. I have a passion for both.

My advice to students is: if you have a dream, work hard to achieve it every day. You only have so many days to live so why not go big every single day while you have it? Don’t take anything for granted. Seize every opportunity you can. I wish I would have known that when I was younger, but I know it now. So just be involved and do as much as you can because you never know who you are going to be standing in front of.

Community Service

Summer Mission Trip

Last summer I went to Nicaragua for my very first mission trip with my church. I had an absolute blast. We signed up to go again this year.

I’ll be going to Virginia Tech and its motto is “Ut Prosim” which means, “That I may serve.” It’s a big part of my life – community service – and so I’m excited to be going to a college where it’s a big part of their lives, too. They have things like The Big Event when they spend a day where everyone from the college goes out into the community and gives back to the people who give us so much. They have programs for spring break and Christmas break where, instead of coming home, I can go on a mission trip and I can continue my work but with my college.

My dad always jokes that he can see me with Doctors Without Borders when I grow up because I love going out and helping those less fortunate in Third World countries. Especially the last two years with the academy, I’ve gotten a lot of experience with medicine so I can definitely see the two working together in some form in the future.