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New Teacher Profile

New Teacher Interview: Madame Sheryl Powell
By Natalie Tederoff
I had the privilege of interviewing Madame Sheryl Powell, a novice teacher here at VPSA. Madame Powell teaches French to students in grades 10-12. Graduating magna cum laude from Houghton College, she is a veteran teacher of over 30 years.
Natalie Tederoff: Could you tell me about your family?
Madam Powell: I am married and I have a daughter who is currently residing in Nottingham, England with her British husband. They have two daughters (so I have two granddaughters!) who are aged 5 and 2, with the cutest British accents! Thank goodness for Skype so we can stay in contact with them.
NT: What did you do before teaching at VPSA?
MP: I taught at what VPSA would call “a brick and mortar school” – both at public high school and private school.
NT: When you’re not grading papers, what do you enjoy doing?
MP: I’m greatly involved in my church, and I love to play the piano. I’m chairing music at my church in the fine arts division. I do a lot of card stamping, reading, and traveling.
NT: What is one of your favorite books?
MP: One of my favorite books is La Symphonie Pastorale (by André Gide). I enjoy it because it has so many layers of meaning, and I’m currently using the book with one of my French students. In our classes we often have discussions about the author’s interpretation of Scripture (and there’s a bit of romance in the book too!).
NT: As a French teacher, why do you think learning a second language is so important?
MP: We live in a global society. The USA was last to realize that we can’t expect the rest of the world to learn our language. French is important for business, travel, and ministry. And learning a second language offers perspective.
NT: In your opinion, what are the key components of a well-rounded education?
MP: The key components are a strong foundation in all basics (the sciences, social studies, your first language, grammatical structure, ability to write well). Though most Americans only attempt one language, I also believe there is a need for more than one language.
NT: What is your favorite season?
MP: I love autumn! The colors are changing, and here in Michigan we get to see the maples and the brilliant reds – and it’s all visible proof of God’s handiwork.
I would like to thank you, Madame Powell, for an informative and interesting interview. It is always exciting to learn more about our skilled teachers! May God bless your teaching here at VPSA.

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