I want to be a coach

I like sports and I want to be a coach for a basketball team or a soccer team. I have a basketball hoop in front of my house and a lot of times I go outside and play basketball because I like it a lot. I’m not really good at soccer yet but I want to learn it because my friends in my neighborhood play it a lot. Those are the only two things I want to do and coach.

What would you say to your players as a coach?

I would cheer them on and make them feel happy. Even if they lose, I won’t yell at them. I would just try to help them and tell them ways I can make them better so they can win the games.

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I’m going to kindergarten

I like playing ‘puppies.’ You pretend you’re a dog. Sometimes dogs bark. Sometimes dogs nip. I don’t nip. I pretend I’m a nice puppy.

And I’m going to kindergarten! I’m going to have stations and go to the cafeteria and the gym and stuff like that. I’m going to learn some new things.

Have you thought about what you want to be when you grow up?

A firefighter! I like firefighters. They take down fire!

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I’ve prepared myself for the future

Looking back to how much I’ve grown since being a freshmen, I would probably thank Ms. Bankes in the library and Mr. Camenisch, he’s my director in the drama department. I think that aside from what I’ve learned in classes, I’ve prepared myself for the future in terms of being responsible, being independent, knowing how to take care of myself, meeting deadlines, getting all my work done and being accountable.

What’s next for you?

I will be attending Longwood University. I will be studying tech theatre with a minor in business management. I love productions but there are also opportunities for me at a university as head of audio/visual, mainly because I like being around students and building off of a platform.

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I really love to get into a book

My favorite subject is reading because I really love to get into a book and just read something adventurous. Outside of school, I like to play softball and I also like to dance. I like to do ballet. I’ve actually been doing it since I was three.

For summer, I’m going to Cape Cod for kind of a family reunion. Then we’re going to Washington, D.C. We’re going to go see the White House and we’re going to go to the American Girl doll store because it’s my birthday and I really like the American Girl dolls. I kind of want a Truly Me one.

My favorite flowers are roses and violets. Violets are a really pretty color and I love purple for some reason. It just makes me happy.

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I play baseball

I love art. I like combining different colors, like blue and green and the shades of colors. I love math, division and reading, too. I play baseball. I like second base and right field. I do not get breaks from sports really. In the winter I play basketball and then in the spring, fall and some of summer, I play baseball. So, it’s rough, but it’s fun. I like pitching, and hitting is awesome. I like how the crowd goes, “Yay! Go Kyle!” It’s fun to hear that.

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I want to travel the world

I know for me, my future, I’ve been searching and searching, and I just cannot find anything I’m passionate about for some reason. Throughout school I’ve been involved in many different things like drama, cheerleading, SCA, leadership and everything, but I just haven’t found something that I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to go to college. I want to go to UVA or Tech or JMU. I want to find what I’m passionate about and I want to travel the world. I want to travel before I have a steady job and have a family. I want to see everything! I want to be completely satisfied with what I’m doing and I want to make people happy. I want to serve people just like I am through leadership. I feel like one of the qualities that I’m naturally born with is leadership so I feel like that’s something I should definitely do when I’m older. I want to serve through that way.

It sounds like you are passionate about traveling.

Well, my dad is in the military and he’s been around everywhere. His whole office is just pictures of him everywhere across the world. And I think: Oh my gosh, I want to do that. I have so many friends who want to travel and who are traveling and I’m so jealous of them. I’ve never been out of the country. I definitely want to do that.

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I hope to visit all 50 states

My husband gave me this color wheel my first year teaching. I was at Woodstock all 30 years. I grew up in Northern Virginia. I got married and moved down here. I was hired at Woodstock by Mrs. Barco in the old building.

I’ve worked with wonderful students, parents and staff members. I started teaching the children of the children, which is really fun when they come in and say, “Didn’t you teach my mother?” Teaching has its rough spots but it’s very rewarding. I’ve found it so. I’ve been happy to do it and I’ve enjoyed it for 30 years. I’m ready to go on and do something else.

What’s next?

I’m going to be traveling some. My husband and I are going to try to take a trip a month, and I hope to visit all 50 states. I’m checking them off my list. We’re going to go to Kentucky and do a driving tour of Kentucky, which I have never been to. Maybe we’ll stop in Ohio on the way back. I’ve driven through Ohio but to me that doesn’t count. You have to do something you remember. If I can’t tell you something I remember in Ohio or wherever, it doesn’t count. That’s on the list. There will be fall foliage in October in New England because we have family in Vermont. We’re just rolling through and we’ll figure stuff out. We’ll travel the way retirees do. My husband says, “You get in the car and leave the house and get where you get.” It’s going to be fun. We’ve been married for 33 years this year. We’ve been together a long time and now we’ll really get to spend time together.

I said I would probably have two or three careers in my life because there’s a good chance I’ll live to be about 100. Both my grandmothers lived into their high 90s, so the likelihood is there. So, who knows what’s around the corner? It could be another job some place.

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I want to be a lawyer and a writer

I want to be a lawyer when I get older and then I aspire to be a judge. While I’m a judge, I’m going to be an author because I love writing and reading. That’s what I do all time. I’m always reading or always writing or always asking others for an idea for a story and how I can put together the characters in my mind. I have to figure out what the setting is going to be and who’s going to antagonize them or maybe help them out along the way.

At school I like to help plan things. I like to help others. I feel like that’s why I want to be a lawyer because people…I just like people. I like helping people. When they need it, it’s always fun for me to help guide them and then, when they have that little bit of guidance, they kind of do it on their own. I like supporting people because people need support to aspire. So, I inspire people. I help them. I give them advice. I show my school spirit. I’m always everywhere.

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I love Navy camp

I have another shark shirt. I got it on Christmas or my birthday.

When was your birthday?

February 2

Groundhog Day!

I know! It’s so weird. My brother was born on President’s Day and I was born on Groundhog Day.

Do you like groundhogs?

Not really. I like sharks. It’s one of my favorite animals. I have two favorite animals: sharks and cheetahs. I like Cheetahs because I like running and they like running.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

There is one thing I’m going to be sad about. I’m going to be missing Ms. Schofield all summer break. But, here’s what I’m looking forward to — having fun with all the people at Midway because, guess what? This summer, they are going to have age groups for camp. I’m a Sea Turtle and I’m going to be going with Guppies for swimming. There’s four groups: Guppies, Sea Turtles, Pirates, Water Riders. The Water Rider picture is a picture of someone riding a wave. The Pirates, it just looks like a pirate. Sea Turtles looks like a sea turtle and Guppies is a little fish. My parents told me I was in the Sea Turtle group. Each group has an age group. Guppies are the little tiny ones. Sea Turtles are the next stage, then the Pirates, then the Water Riders. I love Navy camp. It’s so fun! Last time I was there, we didn’t do this grouping thing. This is the first time we’ve done this.

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We have a jam-packed summer

This summer, I am looking forward to going to Maryland to spend time with my uncle and aunt and our cousin. After that we’re going to go to my Nana’s house and visit with her and go to some museums because she lives in Washington, DC, so we get to go to the Spy Museum and the American History Museum.

After that trip we’ll come home, restage and repack. Then we’ll go to North Carolina where my grandma and grandpa live and we’ll visit with them and go to some places like the aquarium there and maybe we might venture as far as the Special Operations Museum.

After that, me, my brother and my pastor and his two sons are going on my dad’s aircraft carrier, the Ike, for the day. They’re going to do an air show and kind of show us around. That will be fun. Then I have some summer camps. I go to Cub Scout camp. I’m not sure what I do after that. I think it’s more calm-down stuff. We have a whole jam-packed summer with this after this after this.

I’m excited about fifth grade. One of things my teacher said we’re going to do it American History, which I’m very interested in, especially the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, World War II, World War I — all those kinds of things. We’ll be the top grade in the school and need to lead by example. But then, a year later, we’re in middle school and back to being the kindergartners of middle school.

Why do you like history so much?

Because I have a long line of family members who have served in the military. I mean, I could have this big, long book. My dad’s relatives were Tuskegee Airmen, worked for Tuskegee Airmen, and one of them got captured by the Russians in World War II and didn’t come back until 1946. Then, on my mom’s side of the family, my grandpa was in the military. His dad served as a captain in World War II. I could write this big, long book about everything.

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Making the most of four years

In the beginning, I didn’t feel like I belonged until pretty much the end of my sophomore year. I do have certain people in this school who have impacted me and changed my life. One is Dr. Avila, for involving me in so many different things and instilling that he sees something in me. Also, I would say Ms. Pinto because I came in and I love to sing, so I did chorus. She put me in Madrigals my sophomore year. Normally it’s not for students who are so young, but she thought that I was prepared for that and it made me feel, once again, that I did belong. Ever since then I’ve been so busy and involved in any type of club or organization. That’s what led me to be class president and so many other things.

Just by being involved you get to know more people and you get to create so many different friends. We always say you have four years but you take this for a lifetime. What you make of your four years is what you instill in your life and it impacts your future.

I think it’s rewarding to know that with all that you’ve done these past four years, you get to take it on a different step and different path. It’s just nice to know that it leads to a bunch of excitement and I can’t wait for that.

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We’re going to Walt Disney World

We’re going to Walt Disney World in August. We’re celebrating my dad’s birthday and my mom’s anniversary. His birthday is in June but we’re going in August because that’s when we won’t be in school. I like shopping there and a lot of the rides. I like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. That’s probably my favorite.

Is there anything else you’re looking forward to this summer?

I do swim team. Last year, I made it to divisionals, so I’m hoping I make it again this year. My favorite and best event is breaststroke, then it would probably be backstroke and freestyle. I am not good in butterfly. I’m very slow at it. I take gymnastics, too. We’re learning to do cartwheels on the beam. I can do one but I need mats under it. Then, on the floor, we’re learning to do back handsprings but I need a lot of help with that. I don’t have it quite yet. We also are doing flips on the trampoline. That’s it for the new things we’re doing.

The plan right now is no plan

I started out as teacher at Booker T. Washington in Norfolk and I came to Princess Anne High School as the activities coordinator. I went to Tallwood as an assistant principal and then I came over here 12 years ago as a coordinator, five years as a director. That’s the one thing that this job has taught me, everybody doesn’t go on a straight line to get their education. Everybody’s got a different story and it’s a not always a straight path, but it’s very rewarding to help the students, particularly when you hear what some of these people have gone through and what some of these students have had to overcome.

What are your plans for retirement?

The plan right now is no plan, but we’ll see where life takes it after this. I’ll play a lot of golf. I’m a big golfer. I’ll try to get myself back into shape. Being in administration now for over 20 years, it is 24/7, 12 months a year. There’s never any time to do anything. You’re always going and you’re always on call. So now, no calls.

I love going outside

I like to play basketball outside. I play football and basketball. My cousin helped me try out for soccer and I played baseball last year.

What do you like about playing sports and being active?

I like to keep my energy up so I won’t lose shape. I’m trying to stay in shape.

Other than sports, what are some of your favorite things?

I love going outside. I like the fresh air. I love going outside in the snow, too and riding my bike. I like going to the pool. I like going to the eight-foot part of the pool.

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I’m going to China this summer

I’m going to China this summer. I’m excited because it’s going to be my first time going and I’m interested in seeing the new things. I’m going to see the Great Wall and I’m going to see the Forbidden City. That’s all I know that we’re going to see for now. I’m going to see my mom’s parents because they live in China. It’s going to be my first time riding a plane.

Is there anything else we should know about your summer?

I may go to a tennis camp. Tennis is one of my favorite sports. I like it because it’s fun and you get to play with your dad, your mom and other people. I don’t really like playing things by myself but sometimes I’m kind of shy playing with people I don’t know.

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We need to play a little more

I think it’s been a really fast career. It’s funny, somebody said to me, “How long have you been in Virginia Beach,” and I said, “Only 30 years.” They said “Only? Really?” Thirty years is a long time, but it’s just like time, how it goes; it’s a blink. I think I’ll look more forward to Mondays now because Mondays are the hardest time when you’re going back to work. People always say I’m going to sleep in and really enjoy that, but I think we’ll still probably get up around the same time we usually do. I’m just looking forward to not having a list of things to do. I think eventually I will make lists of things I need to do that I haven’t done in the last 30 years, but I’m just enjoying thinking I can do what I want to for a little while. I’m sure I’ll get bored and I’ll find other things to do. I have a new grandchild, the first grandchild. I do have my mother who is going to come and live with me for a while this summer. I have a dog who is going to enjoy having my company a lot more. I’m just looking forward to those things.

What have you learned?

I think we have higher expectations for kids than we used to have, but I also think we need to remember that they are children. They still need to play some. They still need to laugh some. They still need to have some down time. Children make mistakes, and we have to understand that we were children once and they’re children, too. They’re just in a new world, very different from us. I think we need to play a little more.

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I like to make things shine

I was hired in 1971. I was the head night custodian at Hermitage for about 19 years and then I changed over to days. I like to make things shine. I always like to make things look good.

What have you been doing since you retired?

I stayed home for half a year. I’m back subbing. I’m at Hermitage, Diamond Springs and Christopher Farms.

What made you want to come back?

Oh, bored to death. I had a lot of energy and I still had a lot of work in me, so I wanted to do something. I painted everything around the house. So I thought, let me get out of here. Now I’m back subbing.

I’ve been in school since I was 6 years old

I’ve been in school since I was 6 years old! I graduated from Princess Anne High School and did my student teaching at College Park Elementary. I started out at Kempsville Elementary and Creeds when I first got a job in 1977. It was part-time at Creeds for two days and three days at Kempsville. I have been at Christopher Farms for 20 years.

It is a job I truly have loved or I wouldn’t have stayed with it for so long. I get emotional just thinking about it. I never thought I would do this for 40 years. I did 30, and I kept thinking, ‘Well, I can do this one more year.’ Then, ‘I can do this another year.’ Now 10 years have passed and it is one of the best jobs in the world.”

Most of these children aren’t going to grow up to be artists but I want them to see how art is important in the everyday lives. We talk about that from the moment they get up and they brush their teeth, an artist had some role in designing that toothbrush. We talk about the cars that get them to school and our building. I want them to appreciate the idea of art.

What have you learned in 40 years of teaching?

Each child is different. Each child brings something new every day. You can never really plan a good day. I always say a good day just happens. You can have the best plans but sometimes a fire drill happens in the middle of a clay lesson or kids have their shoes off to draw them and something will happen. Every day is different. Every day is exciting. That’s what has kept me with it. It’s not ho-hum. Every day is a new experience and challenge every day.

What’s next?

My sister is retiring from Bayside High School, so we’re going to take sister trips. We both need knee replacements so we might do that together and then do sister trips. I’m an adjunct for Virginia Wesleyan, so still working with college students and future teachers. I have a daughter who is the music teacher at Landstown Middle and she’s getting married Oct. 7, so the summer and the beginning of the school year will be busy. After that, it will be hard. What we do here, the retirees come back on that first day of school and help show kids where classes are and stand in the hall. Then they go to breakfast. I plan to do that on the first day with the rest of retirees and then go to breakfast.

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I like animals and playing soccer

I like to do Taekwondo but sometimes we miss some days because I have soccer. I like soccer because I have friends there and my dad was my coach. He would always have some fun things planned. Like one time for soccer practice, if we scored on him, he said he’d buy us some ice cream and Rice Krispies Treats. It was everybody against him. My friend Landon, he just kicked the ball in and then we made it. My friend Trey, he was allergic to milk so we just got popsicles.

I want to do something with animals or be a soccer player when I grow up. I can’t decide what I want to do. I can’t decide because I like animals and I like playing soccer. I want to see if I can actually see wild animals that I don’t get to see, like the peregrine falcon. It’s one of my favorite animals but I’ve never gotten to see one because I’m still a kid.

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