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Logo: Newport News Public Schools

Model Teachers: CTE

Model TeacherName: Chief Master Sergeant Christopher RambaliModel Teacher
Content: CTE/Aerospace Science
School: Menchville High
Years Taught: 6


What do you most love about teaching?
There is so much I love about teaching, but I absolutely enjoy sharing my life experiences with my students and helping my cadets become better at everything they do.  Additionally, I love when my students understand the academic curriculum and find ways to apply it practically in real-world situations. Preparing students to be successful, happy adults is my goal.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I consider teaching to be a calling, and I am passionate about teaching my students.  My first year as a teacher was filled with good and bad experiences and I want to share some of my lessons learned and best practices to encourage and inspire other teachers.

What two words best describe you as a teacher?  Why?
Two words that best describe me are caring and supportive! I work hard to build meaningful, positive relationships and value each student as an individual by treating them with dignity and respect.  I have found that students are more likely to listen to what we have to say when they have a sense that we value and respect them.


Model TeacherName: Stephen MillnerModel Teacher
Content: CTE/Engineering Design and Aerospace
School: Denbigh Aviation Academy
Years Taught: 15


What do you most love about teaching?
I love to help students achieve an understanding they did not previously have.  I love the “light” that turns on when they get it and then carry that new understanding and connect it to other things.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I am passionate about supporting my colleagues because I remember how much assistance I needed when I first started teaching.  Additionally, even after 15 years, I still require some help at times.  Most importantly, when talking to other teachers I learn more, which enables me to help my students.

What is the best way to describe your classroom on a typical day?
My classroom is full of questions, conversations, and work!  I keep the classroom open to questions and conversations about the topic at hand and even some of the adjacent topics as long as our discussion does not wander.  I continue this through the assignments because more connections are made while implementing the new concepts.  I find that I ask students how things work as opposed to describing and telling them the answers all the time.


Model TeacherName: Lenise CowlingModel Teacher
Content: Business
School: Heritage High
Years Taught: 5


What do you most love about teaching?
What I love most about teaching is my content area. I love teaching economics and personal finance. This is a subject that every student should be well informed about. I am able to teach students skills they will use for the rest of their lives. I see so many adults struggling with their personal finances because they have not been taught the skills I get to teach in my class. Knowing that I am setting my students up for success through financial literacy gives me a sense of purpose in the classroom. It brings me so much joy when I see students reflecting on a concept I taught and experiencing that “aha moment” as they understand how the skills are applicable in their daily lives and in the real world.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
Nothing is more intimidating than walking into a classroom full of students for the first time. I remember how scared I was my first year teaching. There are so many uncertainties in the beginning. I was constantly wondering whether I was implementing my lesson plans correctly and hoping my students received the information from the lessons. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have a great support system who helped me keep my head above water and discover strategies that worked best for me. Now it is my time to give back. I want to be able to sow into a new teacher the same way that others imparted their wisdom and knowledge into me. I want to be a resource for both novice and seasoned teachers. We rely on one another to be great in and out of the classroom.

What two words best describe you as a teacher?  Why?
When teaching I am passionate and nurturing. I am extremely passionate about my content because I am teaching life skills that every student should know. In addition to being passionate, I am a nurturer by nature. I recognize the needs of my students and that their overall well-being goes beyond the classroom. My goal is to encourage my students to be the best they can at all times.

Logo: NNPS Curriculum Department