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Logo: Newport News Public Schools

Model Teachers: ESL

Model TeacherName: Sara TartalaModel Teacher
Content: ESL
School: Gildersleeve Middle
Years Taught: 10


What makes NNPS a great school division?
As a military spouse, my family has lived all over the country and the world. One of the main reasons we chose to live in Newport News when we moved to this area is the schools. Nowhere else we have lived, and nowhere else in our area, offers the choice that Newport News Public Schools does. There are schools for many different interests at both the elementary and secondary levels. You can choose to go to your zoned school or apply for a magnet; in high school, you can take honors, AP or IB courses, or choose to do early college courses or Governor's school. There is definitely something for everyone!

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
Teaching is hard and teachers often feel undervalued! I think that is why so many new teachers leave within five years. However, when you have a community of teachers that support each other, teaching can be so rewarding! So much is put on teachers, but that load can be lighter when we work together.

What two words best describe you as a teacher?
The two words that best describe me as a teacher are caring and engaged. I love my students and I love the fact that teaching them over their three years in middle school allows me to develop a deep relationship with them. I also often have the opportunity to teach siblings, so I get to know whole families very well. I have found that engaging with my students helps them become engaged with their learning.


Model Teacher
Model TeacherName: Janet Gingery
Content: ESL
School: Watkins ECC and Saunders Elementary
Years Taught:


What do you most love about teaching?
The joy I feel when I am teaching is what I love most!

What makes NNPS a great school division?
NNPS is great in many ways, but the educational staff developments and amazing curriculum stand out first in my mind. Our trainings and lessons are built on valid, reliable, and peer-reviewed research. Of all the districts that I have worked for, NNPS is by far the best.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I remember when I first started teaching and how I was unaware of best practices and how to implement them in the most effective way. I have since been through reading recovery training, taught several different levels in elementary school, achieved my National Board Certification, worked as a special education teacher as well as an interventionist, and obtained my ESL certification through Regent University. I feel that I can offer guidance for new teachers that I wish I would've had when I first started teaching.


Model TeacherModel TeacherName: Sarah Kleinman
Content: ESL
School: Crittenden Middle
Years Taught: 7


What makes NNPS a great school division?
NNPS is a great school division because it really cares about its students. I love hearing about all of the different avenues NNPS provides students for success. There are so many opportunities for students to grow as scholars and as citizens in the district. I can’t wait until my child is old enough to take advantage of some of its amazing programs!

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
Teaching can be a very isolating profession, where you sometimes feel no one else is experiencing your frustrations. I want teachers to know that we all have similar struggles, and we can build each other up and learn from each other, regardless of differences in grade level or department.

Why do you love working in NNPS?
I love working in NNPS because I can go home every night proud that I am making a difference in children’s’ lives.  Our school district welcomes linguistically and culturally diverse students from all around the world, and produces students who are ready for life beyond high school. We are entrusted with an enormous responsibility – people’s children – and we as a district fulfill that responsibility.


Logo: NNPS Curriculum Department