This year, Leesville Road High School is saying goodbye to many beloved teachers as they retire from teaching. Yvonne Anderson, Angela Scioli, and Susan Duncan have all left large impacts on the school and community throughout their years at LRHS. The students of LRHS want to thank these amazing teachers for their dedication and enthusiasm for teaching.
Scioli has been a social studies teacher since LRHS’s opening in 1993, leaving an impact on the community as a whole. To list a few of her accomplishments, Scioli has founded Red4Ed, been filmed for a documentary called “Teacher of the Year,” and is a member of the School Scholarship Committee.
Scioli’s reflection begins at the start of her teaching career.
“I’ll never forget- my favorite story is with me and Paul Dinkenor [another faculty member who has been teaching since LRHS’s opening]… Me and Paul got called, in like 1995, to the Media Center to learn about this thing called email. I remember us sitting next to each other and we were learning about it, and we looked at each other like when are we ever going to use this.”
Scioli has found a way to bring enthusiasm into her daily teaching throughout the years.
“Every day I get to wake up and listen to the news and to podcasts, and just attend to what’s going on in the world. And then I get to frame it, think about it, package it, and deliver it to my students in a way that we can have really exciting, fruitful conversations. I really just show up every day to help those students continue on their journey of learning, and so it’s just really fun.”
She loves teaching every subject, possessing the ability to teach the future.
“I love connecting the present to the past and there are always new connections so I get very excited with each unit. The beat goes on and on and it’s cool to frame it / contextualize it/ contemplate it! Except imperialism. I teach imperialism but it makes me sad. What a missed opportunity to learn,”
After her long-lived teaching career at Leesville, Scioli is looking forward to retirement.
“I’m going to focus on being a more attentive mom and wife and a more active member of my faith community. I’m also going to join the family business, a travel agency, and eventually relieve my 78 year old dad of the day-to-day responsibilities he currently carries here in the Raleigh office. I’m excited to get to work with my sister (she has a branch in Birmingham) and help people see the world. Travel has been such an eye-opening experience for me in my life and I want more people to have those opportunities.”
Her lasting thoughts of Leesville are bittersweet and reminiscent of her 28 years here.
“You did invest 28 years of your life into an institution and then not continue to be a part of it. I am a Leesville For-Lifer. It’s sort of been the center of my existence.”
“Above all, I want to thank each and every person who has been a part of Leesville and made it a place where my dreams could take a walk. I grew up here, I met my people here, and my heart will always be here. Hope to see you and yours at the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day morning, this year and / or every year!”
Anderson has been a member of the LRHS community for over 27 years and plans on retiring after a whopping 34 years of teaching. She has worked on Winter Fest, directed a play, been department chair for 10 years, and led the professional development committee; Anderson is truly a pillar in the LRHS community.
Anderson has some words of wisdom that have led her to such teaching success.
“If you are excited about what you’re reading and writing, then you can get your students at least to be interested in it. My goal is that when they leave, they feel they have learned to be a better reader, a better writer.”
Anderson has been involved in theatre productions pretty consistently for over 30 years, and plans on focusing on writing/producing play productions. Her involvement with LRHS has impacted the students and other staff members here, and will truly be missed after her retirement.
“Ralph Waldo Emerson writes that we should ‘finish each day and be done with it. [We] have done what [we] could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.’ As I prepare to leave Leesville Road High School, Emerson’s words truly reflect how I feel about my time here. I’ve done my best each day, and I hope what I’ve contributed or taught has been meaningful to the faculty, administration, my colleagues, and most importantly the amazing students I’ve had the privilege to know.
Retirement is a ‘new day,’ and I look forward to sleeping past 5:15 AM and not spending 6 to 8 hours on the weekend grading papers. However, although I won’t miss the tiresome part of teaching, I’ll miss collaborating with colleagues, laughing with friends during lunch, and the spark that spending your day with teenagers creates. So, thank you Leesville staff and students for those experiences, and for my 27 years as part of the Pride!”
Duncan began teaching at LRHS in 2001, but she taught at Millbrook and NC State before then, a professor of Chemistry 101 and 201. Leesville is a true community according to Duncan, and she has been contributing to that sense of community for 20 years now.
Times certainly have changed from when Duncan first started teaching.
“When I started teaching in Wake County there was no AP Chemistry.”
She reminisces on her time at LRHS as one of building valuable relationships with her fellow staff and students, and her students will remember her as a kind and enthusiastic teacher for a long time after she retires.
“As I reflect on my time teaching at Leesville, there are so many wonderful memories to look back on. The things that stand out are coaching the Science Olympiad team, attending Leesville sporting events, plays, concerts, dressing up for spirit week, and watching my students graduate. Teaching has changed a lot since I began at Leesville twenty years ago. One big change is the size of the school. When I came to Leesville there was no Murphy Building. Another change is the use of technology in the classroom. Before we were given whiteboards and projectors, I used a chalkboard to teach chemistry. Now, I am teaching to students on a computer virtually. The part of teaching that I enjoy the most is the relationships with my students and co-workers. My advice to someone who is considering a career in teaching is to have a passion for your subject and for your students. Roll Pride!”