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Sometimes, teachers fall into a rut. Not Christine Roye Henry ’00. As a fifth-grade teacher in the Center-Based Gifted program at Marguerite Christian Elementary School in Chesterfield, Va., Henry is always coming up with new ways to keep her students on their toes.
She savors the challenge of extending the public school curriculum to include activities that allow her students to flex their creative and intellectual muscles. When Holocaust survivor Alex Lebenstein spoke to her class, the students videotaped his speech and later broke into groups. Each group picked out quotes from his talk and illustrated them for a book titled Hope Helped Me Survive that will be published by The Foundation of Holocaust Education Projects. With a project she calls Invention Convention, students create an invention, from original idea all the way to how to produce and market it.
“I get to give them these types of memories that will last forever,” she says. “I love being able to work with the kids and see such tremendous growth from the time they enter fifth grade until the end of the year. It’s just absolutely amazing.”
Sandra Fluck, professor and chair of education, helped mold Henry into a caring, creative teacher. A studio art major who also earned an elementary teacher certification, Henry never felt intimidated. Even when Fluck offered criticism, it was in a way that made her feel that she could reach the potential her mentor saw in her.
The road to Moravian was a winding one for Henry. After taking what her husband likes to refer to as her "tour of colleges," Henry found herself at a crossroad one evening while driving home from her grandparents' house. Around 9:30 at night on a country road, she was weighing her options, thinking through all the career paths she could follow. She knew she had to do something and remembers thinking, "That’s it, I’m going to Moravian." Her father, Harold Roye ’74, also is a graduate. As soon as she got to campus, it felt like home.
"Moravian takes the time to notice students,” she says. “It’s small enough that you don’t feel lost, but big enough too. You weren’t a number. When I went to a larger university, it was sink or swim, here’s your catalog, figure it out. I didn’t get the same attention. I’m such a strong advocate for a small, private college. It was fantastic for me.”
"Moravian takes the time to notice students."