Model Teachers at NNPS

Model Teachers:
High School Science

Meet this model teacher team and learn how college, career and citizen-ready skills come alive in their classrooms!

Casey Ruder

Content: Biology
School: Warwick High
Years Taught: 16

What do you most love about teaching?
Teaching is an adventure. You never really know what each day may bring. You get to build great relationships with the students and their families. I love to see the students' excitement when they get to do activities and labs in class. The moments you share together when students have been struggling and finally "get it" are priceless.

What makes NNPS a great school division?
NNPS is a diverse school division. Teachers have access to a wealth of resources and training opportunities to help prepare them for new opportunities in their classrooms. NNPS is always pushing students to be better prepared for college and their futures, as well as pushing teachers to meet the changing needs of our students.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
It is sometimes difficult to be a new teacher because you may have just graduated from college, may have moved from another state, or possibly have moved from another school division. I feel that it is important for new teachers to have a support system. By helping other teachers, I get to learn from them and it helps to build comradery with your colleagues. It's about building the relationships so everyone can comfortably work together to help the students be successful.

Rita Mina

Content: Honors and AP Chemistry
School: Woodside High
Years Taught: 22

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
It takes a village not just to raise a child but also to educate one. I strongly believe the benefits of group work and the support of fellow teachers is the best recipe for students' success.

What makes NNPS a great school division?
Newport News Public Schools is great because we have excellent leaders that support teachers and students, and they are not afraid to try new things for the benefit of our students' education. NNPS is a great place to work at simply because we all have the same mission and focus: our students' success. NNPS also provides the best resources needed for teachers to be successful in the classroom.

What two words best describe you as a teacher? Why?
I would describe myself as the dedicated archaeologist. I feel the importance of continuously searching for possibilities deeply buried in the lives of children seeking treasures. I also love to show students how chemistry connects with their everyday life.