PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Today’s Excellent Educator teaches nutrition and wellness at Manor High School in Portsmouth, and has been in the classroom for 28 years.
She also teaches kindness and is dedicated to helping students find a career that allows them to light the world on fire.
When 10 On Your Side showed up, Karen Roberts’ infectious enthusiasm was clear and evident.
“Good morning, how are you doing?” she asked her students.
Roberts lights up the room and is obviously someone who loves what she does.
“What legacy would you want to leave behind for everyone else,” she asks the class.
The day’s lesson was on how to leave your mark, your legacy, do things to make people remember you.
“I like to have them start thinking about careers, and it is important to have them do that because it is an opportunity for them to learn about themselves and it prepares them for the workforce,” she told us after giving the assignment on Legacy.
Statistics show 2% of registered architects in America are African American, and one of her students, Noah Bumbray, wants to be one of them,
“Ms. Roberts makes me execute what I need to look into and plan to be an architect … she prepares me …and makes me excited to be an architect.”
Karen Roberts talks about the 8 dimensions of wellness.
“We talked about occupations and that is how we tie into the nutritional wellness class. We talk about environmental wellness and physical emotion.”
Roberts is advisor of many clubs, including FCCLA which is the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
Last year Roberts was one of 24 teachers nationwide selected to participate in the National Leadership Fellowship Program.
In late June, she’s taking 11 students to San Diego for a national competition.
10th grader Nylia Adams is one of them,
“Ms. Roberts saw something in me. She saw potential in me. She even said that at states when I won my award. She said, ‘I saw potential in you and that’s why I told you that.’ It was a real deep meaning to me because she saw something in me others didn’t see.”
Roberts does not have her own children, but she calls her 60 students her own, and the students are lucky for that.
“I am still connected to my students, and they all check in on me. The experiences I have given them from going on trips and completions connects us.”
As she walks the halls, Roberts’ words follow her and echo.
“People always say, when it is something you enjoy you never work a day in your life.”
That is Excellent Educator Karen Roberts.