Hi! I’m Laurie Sullivan, Barrett’s Exemplary Project “Project Discovery” teacher. I’ve been teaching at Barrett since 1993 when I was hired to teach 4th grade after teaching grades 1st – 3rd for six years in California. In 1996 I applied for the Project Discovery position and was selected by former Barrett principal Mrs. Terry Bratt. I can not imagine a job that is more exciting. The students at Barrett are so enthusiastic about learning science and I really enjoy co-teaching with the talented teachers at Barrett.
I graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 1987, two years after I married my high school sweetheart. My first teaching position was a second grade bilingual (Spanish) class in Santa Barbara. I was fortunate that the teacher in the classroom next to me was my master teacher from student teaching! She was a fabulous mentor for a beginning teacher. When a position opened at the elementary school where I attended as a child, I applied. I was hired as a first grade teacher. After three years teaching first and second grade I moved to third grade. It was exciting to be able to plan lessons with the third grade teacher next door to me, MY MOM! She is an amazing teacher and I learned so much working with her. In Virginia I completed a Master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in Technology at George Mason University in 2003. Also in 2003 I was honored with representing all the dedicated teachers in Arlington as the Teacher of the Year. In 2004 I was selected as the Virginia Teacher of the Year. In May 2010 I earned my doctorate from George Mason University.
I have two sons, Connor and Jackson. Jackson is serving our country in the United States Air Force and is currently based in Germany, although he will be stationed in the U.S. soon. A memorable time for me was when Jackson attended elementary school here at Barrett! Connor graduated from Virginia Tech with a double major in Engineering (Computer Science) and Mathematics. He is now working as a software developer with Amazon in Seattle. In 11th grade Connor completed the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) course and summer academy at NASA Langley, which is open to high school juniors in Virginia. Connor says VASTS was a life-changing experience and he highly recommends the program. Maybe some of our Barrett students will join the program when they are older!