Beyond the classroom: teacher’s activities after the bell

by Kate Billingsley
Online editor 

LEVIeMatthew Levi teaches History and Social Studies. He has been teaching at Stuart since 2005. Levi attended Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. During his free time, Levi enjoys powerlifting. Powerlifting is a form of weightlifting in which athletes train to build muscle strength to lift weights that are at least twice the body weight of the lifter. Powerlifting has a focus on strength and form rather than speed. Levi began powerlifting last year. His neighbor has a training studio in his garage, and invited him to train with him. “I enjoy eating and to get heavier weights up off the ground you need to bulk up a bit,” said Levi. Setting goals towards improvement is also a major part of Levi’s training. “Last year I wanted to get my squat and deadlift above 400,” said Levi. “This summer I’m shooting for a 500 deadlift and 375 bench.” Levi trains three or four times a week. When he isn’t training with his neighbor, he works out at his local gym.

Jason Vanderburgh is a History and Social Studies teacher, who has been teaching at Stuart for seven years. He attended Boston College for both undergraduate and graduate school. In his free time, Vanderburgh enjoys gluten-free baking, as well as playing video games. “I started with a ColecoVision when I was really little, then moved to Atari, Nintendo, Genesis, and to every iteration of PlayStation,” said Vanderburg. “Luckily for me, my wife also likes playing video games so it is something that we can do together. My daughter even likes playing Super Mario Brothers and the Lego games on Wii.” As for the video games he plays, Vanderburgh said he enjoys playing complex games. “My favorite modern series is the Dark Souls games and ones like them. I also like RPGs like the Final Fantasy series,” said Vanderburgh. “My favorite game all-time is probably Final Fantasy II for the Super Nintendo.” Vanderburgh started baking when his daughter was diagnosed with celiac. “She also is intolerant to dairy, so the easiest way for us to have baked goods in the house is if I made them from scratch.” Vanderburgh bakes a variety of items, from focaccia breads and rolls, to bread, muffins, or cake.


McIntoshreSarah McIntosh is a Geosystems teacher who is in her first year teaching at Stuart. McIntosh graduated from the University of Virginia. When she’s not teaching, McIntosh enjoys spending her time knitting. “I tried learning in elementary school with no success, but I did pick up crochet then,” said McIntosh. “Knitting finally clicked a few years later. I was constantly making things as a kid, so knitting was a natural next step for someone so into arts and crafts.” One of the things she enjoys to knit are shawls. “I like that they are fun to wear and let me really play with patterns and colors,” said McIntosh. McIntosh also enjoys to knit socks and hats using fun patterns and colors. “While complex patterns slow down my rate of knitting, I prefer them over simple ones because that helps keep my mind occupied and interested,” said McIntosh. “I have a few large projects that I estimate took over 100 hours each!,” said McIntosh. “I love that knitting is both a social and solitary activity,” said McIntosh. “I actually worked in a really popular yarn store in Old Town Alexandria for a year, so I have a ton of really wonderful knitting friends.”