Faculty Spotlight: Lisa Newsome

Lisa Newsome is the Lower Elementary II Directress and is entering her 5th year at MSR. She received her B.A. from UNC Wilmington and started her teaching career almost ten years ago. She is pictured here with her husband, Alan and her children Avery and Riley! We sat down with Lisa to find out how she spent her summer and a little bit more about her!

Tell us about your summer!
This summer we welcomed our newest addition, Riley (now 5 months!). With two young kids, we made lots of trips to the library, walking to the park, and swimming at the pool. Our out of town trip to Lake Lure was quite an adventure with the newborn!

Tell us a bit about yourself!
1. What three traits define you?
Three words that describe me include determined, passionate, and reliable.

2. What is your personal philosophy?
I believe in doing what you know to be the right thing, even when no one is looking, and to keep working to improve yourself.

3. What are you listening to/reading these days?
Right now I’m reading Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari and Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful by Donna Bryant Goertz.

4. Do you have any pets? What kind?
We consider our neighbor’s cat an adopted pet. She frequently visits us in our yard and will even meow at our back door!

5. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
The first thing I love to do on the weekend is sleep in, I’m not a morning person at all! Other than that, my favorite thing to do is to spend time with my family. I’m really enjoying our two boys as they become more interactive and develop their own personalities. We always make time to be outdoors as a family- hiking, playing/working in the yard, or walking to the park.

6. Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
My mom is from a small island near Naples, Italy called Ischia. When I have the opportunity to travel to there, we stay with family for about a month and get the full local and cultural experience.

7. What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
I moved from Connecticut to North Carolina at around age 13. I would most like to tell myself to be open to new experiences and not stress about making friends and fitting in. Life is short and full of changes…most of them new and exciting.

8. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I enjoy gardening although I don’t consider myself to have much of a green thumb. We have a small vegetable and herb garden and have grown zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, basil, mint, rosemary and, this year, our first pumpkin! I will save seeds from different foods and mostly experiment to see what grows.

9. Who is/are your biggest inspiration(s)?
I think we can get inspiration from every single person and thing around us. We just have to look at those things or people in the right way. My biggest inspirations are those closest to me: my husband inspires me to try new things, my mom inspires me to be patient and put family first, my older brother for hard work and determination, and lastly my two children for inspiring me to love deeply.

10. Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I studied education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and was fortunate enough to find my first teaching position at a Montessori school. From there I started my AMS training to become certified in Montessori.

11. Ten years ago, where did you think you would be now?
Ten years ago, I had moved to Raleigh and just started my teaching career. I knew I wanted to get married and start a family. I was so dedicated and busy with my class that I’m not sure I considered where I would be a decade later.

12. What’s the coolest (or most important) trend you see today?
I love that I can look anything up on YouTube. I enjoy taking on simply fix up projects around the house. Pinterest is also a favorite when it comes to finding creative ideas for art projects, teaching, or gardening.

13. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t a teacher?
I’d most likely do something with arts. I’m very visual and love creating.

14. What is your favorite thing about working at MSR?
I love watching the children learn and experience the gift of Montessori, both individually and as a collaborative unit.

15. What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to your students?
Everyone is unique and talented in their own ways. Discover what you love and offer it to others.