New NSES principal right at home

Published 10:43 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2017

For Lori White, her new gig as principal at Northern Shores Elementary School has her just where she loves to be: right here at home.

The Suffolk School Board appointed White to the new position on July 13. She will replace Tara Moore, who was transferred to Creekside Elementary to fill the vacancy left by former principal Katrina Rountree’s resignation.

White served most recently as an assistant principal at John F. Kennedy Middle School, but her Suffolk roots go all the way back to her own days as a student here in Suffolk public schools.

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The Nansemond River High School alumna earned her bachelor’s and education specialist degrees from University of Virginia, plus a master’s degree in special education from Regent University.

She brought that schooling back to her hometown when she joined SPS in 2003.

“I’m really proud of that,” she said. “I’ve gained so much from Suffolk public schools as a student, and now I’m able to return that same support to the community I came from.”

The 14-year SPS veteran spent her first nine years serving as a data specialist, compliance specialist and teacher for special education.

“It helped me understand that everyone learns and develops differently and to celebrate successes of all kinds,” she said.

She spent her last five years as an assistant principal at John F. Kennedy, where she learned to further collaborate with teachers.

“I’ve learned from the talents of teachers every day — and from the kids in the building,” she said. “I’ve grown so much from that experience.”

She worked to improve math and science at John F. Kennedy and encouraged students to take ownership of their learning by setting goals, determining the best path to those goals and reflecting on their individual progress.

“I think those are valuable skills at any age,” she said.

She said her goal is to facilitate growth of her teachers and students by learning the strengths of everyone on her team and fostering communication.

“I’m just as much a learner in the process as the students and teachers,” she said.

She lives in Suffolk with her husband, Russell, and their two children. The Suffolk native has seen the city grow around her over the years, and she wants to create more opportunities for students to explore and think critically in Suffolk schools as the city expands.

She said amazing things are happening at Northern Shores Elementary because of its strong staff and community supporting the students.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” she said. “It’s a new adventure and a new journey, and I’m really looking forward to it.”