PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Samantha Ash has taught physical science at William E. Waters Middle School for more than six years.

It’s something she never would have imagined doing when she was a student in Portsmouth herself.

“When I went to school, I just knew I was going to be a doctor. That’s what I kept telling everyone I just knew I was going to be a doctor,” Ash said.  

However in school she learned teaching and making science fun for others to learn was her passion. Now, she has set her sights on becoming a school administrator.

“Kind of an ‘ah-ha’ moment. This is where I’m supposed to be,” Ash said. “Getting to know my administration and seeing how they operate and seeing how they make differences not just in the student’s lives but in the teacher’s lives. I think that is something I would like to move into.” 

In the meantime however, she continues to push herself to find new ways to entice students to come into her classroom excited. Believe it or not, she said the COVID-19 pandemic helped with that.

“Google, the whole suite was my best friend. Learning how to make worksheets digital, whether it was doing drag and drop. Whether it was making escape room through Google form. It was very interesting. I think I found my new niche in creating activities,” Ash said.

As her students prepare to advance to high school, her number one piece of advice is to seize each moment.

“You have to make it count now. Most people say well it’s not until the sophomore year you need to start looking at colleges. No. Start seventh grade, start eighth grade. Start being a part of different activities. Just to get your feet wet. Even if you don’t like it. You’ll know you don’t like it and you won’t have to do it later and in life,” Ash said.

When we asked her what she is most looking forward to about summer vacation, she laughed and said “sleep.”