Rachel Savoy, 2nd Grade Teacher, Burnley-Moran Elementary School
Where were you born (and raised, if different)?
I was born in Maine where a lot of my family still resides. I grew up in Richmond though, and consider that my hometown.
When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?
I moved to Charlottesville to attend UVA back in 2006 and loved Charlottesville so much that I stayed!
What neighborhood do you live in now?
I happily live in Belmont. The walkability to downtown is great!
Family (spouse, kids, etc.)?
No spouse, no kids. My immediate family lives in Albemarle County though, so I get my family fix through them.
What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?
I graduated from UVA in 2011 with a BA in Biology and a Master of Teaching in Elementary Education.
What is your favorite part of classroom teaching?
My favorite aspect of teaching is being able to expose students to things that they never knew before but that they will end up loving. I teach second grade, so students are so quick to adopt the things you love as an instructor. There is so much power there.
What is your favorite example of a rewarding experience you’ve had in the field of education?
In general, the most rewarding aspect of teaching is when your students make good choices in how to treat one another, and you know it is because you have worked on those skills all year. My students are much more loving and forgiving than any adult I know, and when given the space and chance to practice those skills, they really blow me away.
Why did you choose to teach?
I love learning, and I wanted to be a part of that experience for others when they are still at an excitable age for learning. I love the content of what I teach, but I also enjoy helping students practice how to be kind, respectful, and caring human beings.
If you had to pick one, what do you think is the single most important issue facing the public schools today?
Budget cuts are inevitable these days, but larger class sizes really make a negative impact on the learning that takes place inside a classroom. As a nation, we want our students to excel in all the core subjects and lament that our students are “falling behind,” yet we are simultaneously not giving schools the right number of personnel that it would take to facilitate that strong academic growth. Additionally, another issue is making sure those adults that do work with students are highly qualified, and that we are attracting strong candidates to our teaching profession.
What is a little-known fact about you?
I love local Charlottesville history! Discovering little tidbits of Charlottesville’s past excites me. Ed Roseberry, Steve Trumbull, Rufus Holsinger, and many others have delighted me with their photographic histories of Charlottesville.
What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc.?
I like to read, cook, and partake of all the art and music that Charlottesville has to offer. I love the community of Charlottesville and try to be as plugged in as possible by attending talks and events.