Biologically Built for the Job

By: Morgan Patrick '16
I have had many teachers but, one teacher I can definitely say that was a great match for the job is Mrs. Elizabeth Moore. When I attended Cape Henry I had the opportunity to take her AP Biology class. I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of knowledge and passion she taught with. I have known her for over 3 years and she still continues to impress me with all the fun facts about biology that she knows or has read about. She is definitely a teacher I would recommend taking a class with.

Mrs. Moore earned a B.S. in Commerce and concentration in marketing from University of Virginia, a B.S. in Biology and a Masters in Teaching Secondary Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. Mrs. Moore teaches AP Biology for 11th and 12th grade, Honors Biotechnology for 11th and 12th grade, Honors Global Health for 11th and 12th grade, and Honors Chemistry for 10th grade.

Prior to Cape Henry Collegiate, Mrs. Moore worked in retail advertising for Hecht’s Department Stores. She started her teaching career at Durham Academy in Durham, NC where she taught freshman biology and chemistry to juniors. She then taught at Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond, VA where she taught freshman Biology and Human Biology (Anatomy and Physiology).

What inspired Mrs. Moore to change her profession and become a teacher she stated was “after working in retail advertising for a few years, I was bored and wanted to use my brain more! Also, selling clothes and housewares was not very fulfilling work. I had always been attracted to teaching, so I decided to pursue my dream and go back to school!”

This decision appeared to have been the best decision for Mrs. Moore and it shows. She “loves learning new things and biology is ALWAYS changing, so it's exciting to study!” For her “When a student catches that spark and starts telling me about cool facts they’ve read or sending me science articles or videos, that’s the best! I’ve been teaching for over 20 years, so I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing many students go on to major in biology or biotechnology, and go on to medical or nursing school, and it’s gratifying to be a part of their successful professional journey. I love when students keep in touch!”

This fall Mrs. Moore began her 13th year at Cape Henry. “Cape Henry was appealing because it was an independent school and it was in Virginia Beach, near home. When I interviewed, I learned that Cape Henry emphasized raising the bar for academics as well as providing an array of opportunities in the arts and athletics. I believe in the educational philosophy, which challenged each student while encouraging them to pursue their own path and passions by offering an array of courses and extracurricular activities.”

“Working with outstanding colleagues is very invigorating! Good teaching is constant work and you are never done perfecting your craft. My colleagues and my daughter's teachers expend the time and effort necessary to elevate their teaching to the highest levels and work one-on-one with students to really give that personal attention that make independent schools so excellent. Independent schools such as Cape Henry are very attractive to educators because they treat their teachers as professionals, allowing them the freedom to teach creatively while maintaining high expectations.”

Looking back on her life’s work at Cape Henry, Mrs. Moore talks about all the wonderful and impactful experiences her students have given her as a teacher. She describes it as, “Watching a student work hard and succeed in raising their test scores in AP biology, and when students score higher than they thought they would on the AP bio exam! Having students come back and tell me that AP Biology or Biotechnology sparked their interest in majoring in biology or going to med school, and then seeing them successfully pursue a career in science or medicine is very gratifying! (Likewise, having students tell me how much AP bio helped them do well in their college biology classes.) I have a file full of student thank you notes written over the last 20 years that is one of my greatest treasures!”

There are many people whom Moore loves to shout out due to their constant support and guidance of the years. For her, “Tom Rodgers has been the science department chair since I started at Cape Henry and he has always been supportive! He is the voice of reason, a good person to bounce ideas off of, and a good advocate if you need one. Also, working with my colleague, Leigh Gregory, when teaching chemistry, is fun. We share offices and ideas and work really well together! I'm excited to go back to teaching a section of chemistry this year as I will be working closely with her again.”

Outside of Cape Henry Moore loves reading, taking long dog walks with her husband and their English Setter, spending time with her daughter, hiking, travelling, going to live music concerts, and when she has time “dabbling in cooking and gardening”.

Advice Mrs. Moore has for anyone wanting to become a teacher is simple - love what you do.

“Teaching is one of the hardest, but most rewarding professions - you will work a year in 9 months!!"
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