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Shelly Stearney returns to Norfolk Academy and will teach fifth grade. She rejoins us after a year’s respite to help take care of her mother in Texas, where she began her teaching career in an eighth and ninth grade English position in a public junior high school. She was recognized as the school’s Teacher of the Year in this first role. She continued in this same vein, teaching English in a public junior high school program in Florida before moving to California to teach high school English and serve in an administrative leadership role. She also was recognized with a Teaching Excellence Award there. After several years devoted to raising her children and supporting her Navy Officer husband, she joined the Baylake Pines School faculty to teach in the upper elementary program.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:
My parents stressed the value of education, and storytelling and teaching runs in my family. My mother and two sisters are also educators. My desire to become a teacher started early; playing “teacher” was my favorite game as a child.

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
Contributing to the mission of this historic institution. I cannot wait to share my love for writing with the fifth graders.

Norfolk Academy is unique because
I have had the good fortune to teach in successful, well run schools in several states, and none compare. The traditions and continued excellence of Norfolk Academy set it apart from other institutions of learning.

Last book read: 
The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. It is the story of the British citizenry’s courage, resolve, and fortitude during Germany’s relentless air raids during World War II.

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working? 
I can often be found in the kitchen, cooking or baking, or on the patio with a book and a latte.

Favorite food? 
In Virginia, lamb and lentil soup. But if I am in Texas, it is venison tamales with spicy salsa.

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you?
Since I’m not too familiar with actors, I asked my family, who suggested Sandra Bullock. In The Blind Side, she loves football, as I do, and is an advocate for children.

Fun fact your students might find surprising:
Until I was about 12 years old, I was determined to be the first female on the Dallas Cowboys' roster.

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
Surrounded by family and grandchildren.

Shelly Stearney returns to Norfolk Academy, where she is teaching fifth grade.

Shelly Stearney returns to Norfolk Academy, where she is teaching fifth grade.

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