Lori Buchanan

Wheeling Country Day School Headshot Missing Picture Day

Lori Buchanan


Growing up, who was your most inspirational teacher and why?

Beyond a doubt, my most inspirational teacher was Mrs. Angela Brumble of St. Vincent de Paul Parish School. I was a member of a group of 27 5th graders who had a rather bad reputation for being a handful. While I was not one of the rebel-rousers, I was a child that struggled and often got lost in the chaos. Mrs. Brumble was strict. She let everyone know what her expectations were and was not shy about following through with her consequences. She balanced this stern approach with a love of learning that was infectious. The most impactful way she did this was sitting those 27 10-year-olds down on the floor every day and reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to us. She included the voices and prosody that made us fall in love with the characters. So much so, we often took copies of the book outside during recess and reread passages together. Mrs. Brumble taught me what inspiration means.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I thought I knew what I was meant to be. At 14, I got a job at Wheeling Park pool. I began to plan for when I would buy my first car. Soon I decided I would be a Child Psychologist. I entered college and began psychology classes. It soon became clear that this wasn’t the right path. I switched to being an English major. Throughout these years my pastor, who had been a teacher in Cleveland for many years, continued to tell me I should be a teacher. I was nearing the end of my undergrad studies and decided to take one Children’s Literature class as an elective. I can still see my feet as I walked along the stone pathway to my car after that first class. With every step I got chills and simply knew, this was my passion. I was meant to be a teacher. I still get goosebumps when I teach. It is the best!

How has becoming a teacher changed for you over the years?

When I first began teaching, I wanted to be taken seriously. I wanted to prove myself. As I became more experienced, my thoughts turned to how I could improve instruction. My focus became about what I had to offer by way of change. Now my gaze is much longer. It stretches backwards and forwards. I see the trajectory of education, and I recognize my place on that path. I am humbled by my ability to encourage and motivate students, and also eased by the notion that there are so many wonderful teachers holding onto that rope and tugging education forward to reach the next milestone.