StoryCorps National Teachers Initiative
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StoryCorps National Teachers Initiative

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization that makes it possible for people of all beliefs and backgrounds to share their stories. Since its beginning in 2003, StoryCorps has interviewed nearly 80,000 people and shared thousands of stories through public radio, television, and literature. This organization works to build interconnected communities, show the value of listening, and to provide future Americans with an accurate look into the lives of everyday people.

In 2012 StoryCorps came to Hampton Roads as a part of their National Teacher’s Initiative. As a part of the initiative, the organization interviewed teachers across the nation. The stories celebrate educators’ diverse and invaluable influence on the lives they touch. One of these interviews was nationally broadcast. WHRO’s own Sondra Woodward edited and compiled seven interviews, which can be viewed here.

Patrick Geromin and Courtney Rhodes

Patrick Geromin, a History teacher at Smithfield High School, talks with his spouse, Courtney Rhodes, about his decision to become a teacher. Though he never wanted to pursue this career, an Alternative College Spring Break Program made him realize his love of teaching.

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Donald Hurwitz

Donald Hurwitz, a Marketing and Education for Employment teacher at Deep Creek High School, talks with his stepson, Joshua Cohen, about his first day of teaching. In classroom of students in danger of failing, Hurwitz learned that it’s okay to be spontaneous.

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Joyce McDowell

Joyce McDowell, a K-12 SPED Inclusion teacher, talks with her son, Michael Napper about what they learned in their years traveling as a military family. Napper says that his exposure to diverse cultures positively affected his life and also gave him the opportunity to dispel many African American stereotypes.

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Dana Patterson

Dana Patterson, a graduation specialist at Hampton and Bethel High School, talks with Principal Myer Chambers and former student, Sunday Osbourne, about Sunday’s untraditional road to graduation. Now in college, Sunday says that if she did it, with support, other students can too.

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Kate Musick, a language arts teacher at T.C. Walker Elementary School, talks with former student, Harley Patrick, about Harley’s background and education. Though she once struggled in school, with Musick’s help and her own determination, Harley is now an honor roll student. This interview was broadcast nationally. Learn More

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Jeanette Potter and Karen Vaughan

Jeanette Potter, a math and science teacher at Merrimac Juvenile Detention Center, talks with her co-worker, Karen Vaughan, about what it’s like to teach at the Center. Potter explains the importance of creating an open environment where the students can abandon their hard exteriors and simply be kids.

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Karol Buckhalter and Kenya Smith

Karol Buckhalter, an English teacher at Renaissance Academy, talks with her co-worker, Kenya Smith, about their experiences as teachers in alternative education. Both women discuss the importance of creating an open environment where children can learn and the importance of recognizing factors outside of the classroom.

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