Laura Pritchard spent her first year of college studying European Community Studies at the University of Wales, Cardiff College, then completed her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. She has a BA in English and a History minor (cum laude). At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she earned an MA in English (thesis: “‘Nothing that is so is so’: Disguise and Identity in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Sir Philip Sidney’s The Old Arcadia”) and an MS in Education Curriculum and Instruction with Secondary English certification.
In 1992, she presented a paper on “The Nature of the Narrative in ‘Cyclops’ in James Joyce’s Ulysses” at the Tennessee Philological Association meeting. She has also written an essay of biographical criticism on Charles Dickens, published in 1997 in Writers for Young Adults (ed. Ted Hipple, Charles Scribner’s Sons).
Laura Pritchard began her teaching career at a Sylvan Learning Center and as a Humane Educator for the Norfolk (Virginia) SPCA. She then taught eighth- and tenth-grade English at a small rural private school. She also created and taught their first Advanced Placement class (English literature) and sponsored the yearbook. In 1998, Laura moved to Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (her alma mater), where she teaches Research and Recitation (a public-speaking and research class), English III (10th grade), and Honors English III. She has also taught English IV (11th grade). She sponsors the American Cancer Society’s Generation Fit Club and the Drama Club, and directs the school play. In 2001, she was awarded the Pollie Morsion Award for Excellence in Holocaust and Tolerance Education by the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Also in 2001, she participated in Vladka Meed’s 17th Summer Seminar on the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance in Poland and Israel. Laura is a 2002–2003 Mandel Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. For her project she is developing a curriculum for teaching the Holocaust in four days for middle and high school social studies and English courses. She is also working with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater in organizing their bi-annual teachers’ conference. She will be presenting at that conference.
In addition to her academic interests, Laura is involved in community theater and is a member of the Suffolk Jaycees (their first female member). She works part-time at a mixed practice veterinary hospital and is “Mom” to two mixed-breed dogs, two Siberian Huskies, and five cats.
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Suffolk, Virginia
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy is a coed, college-preparatory day school, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. Operating under a board of trustees and a president, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy is a nonprofit, nonsectarian, tax-exempt organization with an unrestricted admissions policy.
Its Mission Statement says in part: “We believe the goal of education is to cultivate well-informed, responsible, and compassionate persons who think and act constructively in a complex international environment. The Academy provides an educational environment that is academically rigorous and driven by intellectual curiosity; that cultivates among its members social awareness and the virtues of responsibility, respect, compassion and honor; that fosters a lifetime commitment to learning and service; and that instills a sense of pride in individual and group accomplishment. The ultimate goal is for each student to reach his or her potential: academically, physically, emotionally, socially, morally, and creatively.”
Source: the school’s website (external link)
2002–2003 statistics for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy:
- African American: 35 students
- Asian American: 36 students
- Latino/Hispanic: 3 students
- Middle Eastern: 4 students
- Multiracial: 10 students
- Native American: 3 students
- Foreign nationals: 3 students
- Caucasian: 936 students
Part of Hampton Roads in southeastern Virginia, Suffolk, at 430 square miles, has the greatest area of any Virginia city. Suffolk is largely rural and suburban. The largest employers are in manufacturing and in education, health, and human services. There is about 3 percent unemployment, and 3 percent of Suffolk citizens serve in the armed forces. Three-quarters of the citizens of Suffolk have high school degrees or higher, and 17 percent have bachelor’s degrees or higher.