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Logo: Newport News Public Schools

Model Teachers: High School Social Studies

Model TeacherModel TeacherName: Lori Buck
Content: High School Social Studies
School: Achievable Dream Middle/High
Years Taught: 12

What do you most love about teaching?
I love it when I see students become passionate about what they are learning.  They build a better sense of our world, which gives them a better sense of themselves.  This job is never boring, and it feels great to make a positive difference in education.  

What makes NNPS a great school division?
NNPS is great because of the people who work here.  NNPS is dedicated to teaching students to be ready for life after their schooling with us.  Our mission is to equip students with the skills they need to be college, career, and citizen-ready.   NNPS is also dedicated to supporting teachers with what they need to carry on the mission of educating children.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
All great teachers have great support systems.  I am excited to be a part of a team who supports the making of great teachers.  The better we are as teachers, the better our students will learn both in and out of our classrooms.


Model TeacherModel TeacherName: Pat Horan
Content: High School Social Studies
School: Menchville High
Years Taught: 9

What is the best way to describe your classroom on a typical day?
There is no typical day in my classroom.  While we have routine to help my students be comfortable and safe in my room, I believe in changing things up to keep students engaged and energetic.  Some days we will be reading primary sources, debating whether the United States should declare independence from Britain while dressed in colonial garb.  Others we may be carrying out a court case to decide the guilt of Nathaniel Bacon, or providing news coverage from the battlefields of the Civil War.  Through all of this, I try to implement reading and writing to help encourage literacy growth among my students.

What do you most love about teaching?
I love that in teaching every day brings new challenges and new opportunities. I always want to do my best so that my students can do their best, and that means trying new things not only every year, but throughout the year.  Each year I try new strategies and new activities.  Some don’t succeed but many do, and that helps me grow as a teacher and become better every day.

Why do you love working in NNPS?
I love working in NNPS because they give me so many opportunities to grow and learn.  I’ve attended so many great PD sessions and learned so much, as well as being given the chance to be a part of some once-in-a-lifetime experiences.  NNPS has given me the chance to travel and learn through first-hand experiences, they have allowed me to take on leadership positions, and they always challenge me to grow.


Model Teacher
Model TeacherName: Brittany Lahr
Content: High School Social Studies
School: Denbigh High
Years Taught: 6

What do you most love about teaching?
One of my favorite things about teaching is the interaction I have with my students. I love the looks on their faces when they finally understand something for the first time or when they do well on an assignment. Watching students be successful, not only in my class but in their other classes as well, is awesome, and it really speaks to the relationships a teacher is able to forge with the students.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I was in their same place not too long ago, so I still understand the hardships they will be facing as they transition through their first few years. Similarly, I have found it easier to go to other teachers around my age because we often have a lot in common. Working with other teachers is exciting because you get to tap into their passions and help them take those passions and transplant them into the classroom.

Why do you love working in NNPS?
I really love working for NNPS for a number of reasons, the biggest being the opportunities I have been given. As a newer teacher in the district, I assumed there would not be many opportunities for me, but that is not true. So far I’ve had the opportunity to act as a club sponsor, write curriculum over the summer, participate on a number of decision-making committees, hold a leadership position as a content team leader, as well as, present at professional development. NNPS is a very welcoming division. They understand the importance of speaking with their teachers and supporting them, whether it be through curriculum development, professional development, or opportunities for growth within the individual schools.

Logo: NNPS Curriculum Department