New Faculty Spotlight: Laurie Sorabella

Teacher – Lower School Science
Department and Program Affiliations:   
Lower School, Science

Academic background:
B.A., Psychology & Women’s Studies, Wesleyan University
M.S., Biology with a concentration on Oyster Reef Restoration, College of William & Mary’s School of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)

How long have you been at Norfolk Academy?
This is my first year at Norfolk Academy

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:
I love learning and I am intrigued by science. Teaching gives me the chance to continually gain new scientific knowledge, and to nurture that excitement for learning among the students. I’m inspired by nature and by the earth. I chose to be a teacher so that I could encourage students’ natural curiosity by engaging them in generating questions, making authentic observations, gathering data, and studying and solving real world problems.

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
The beautiful campus of Norfolk Academy gives us the opportunity to learn science outdoors right here on the school grounds. We will be outside observing selected trees throughout the seasons, identifying and studying bird and butterfly species that use the campus as a habitat, and monitoring day length and weather through the year.

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
...the administration and faculty value and support creative, project-based learning, which makes for a fantastic teaching and learning environment.

Last book read:
State of Wonder  by Ann Patchett

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?  
I like long distance running, yoga, and watching my children’s soccer games and races. I also love hiking, going to the beach, paddling, observing nature, and creating nature art.

Favorite food?
Healthy, vegetarian foods, like kale smoothies, tofu salad, and black bean soup

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you?
Meg Ryan

Fun fact your students might find surprising:
I am a marine scientist, and I have been leading oyster reef restoration efforts in Virginia for over 20 years. In that time, I have engaged 150,000 students in transplanting 8.5 million native oysters to sanctuary reefs in Virginia. It is powerful for me to see students gaining scientific skills and knowledge while concurrently working to make a major impact on the health of the environment. NA 3rd graders will be immersed in oyster science with me this year.

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
...a strong and happy person, doing work that inspires me, perpetuating my love of learning, exploring nature, welcoming creativity and problem-solving into my life, and making a positive difference in the world.