Bidding fond farewell to those pursuing passions beyond Collegiate's walls 

 

The end of the school year marks the start of new journeys for some of Norfolk Collegiate’s dedicated educators who are pursuing passions beyond the walls of Norfolk Collegiate School. 

Head of the Upper School Jeff Hengesbach is pursuing his passion for teaching again. During the last two years, he brought enthusiasm and an optimistic vision to the Upper School community. "He pushed us to look differently at things," said Headmaster Scott Kennedy. "He laid the groundwork that we'll build upon in the future."   

Upper School Math Department Chair and National Honor Society Adviser Blair Swoope will be transitioning into the college educational system. For the past few years, Swoope has been teaching in the local community college system and will be making the step to full-time positions teaching math at Old Dominion University and Thomas Nelson Community College. "She has an impact on the total school, which is pretty impressive," said Kennedy, reflecting on Swoope's contributions to Collegiate over the last 12 years. "She set very, very high expectations and has taught the students how to get there. She's a true teacher." Swoope is also the mother to four Collegiate graduates, Elizabeth Smith '04, Stephen Smith '09, Kathryn Smith '06 and James Smith '11. 
 
The military is calling Upper School Science Teacher Katie Crossman and her husband to a new duty station. Crossman, who joined the Collegiate family this school year, is transferring with her husband and her expected twins to Panama City, Fla. this summer. In addition to her classroom duties, Crossman was a dedicated coach to Collegiate’s varsity girls’ basketball team. "When we were searching for her position, I received a phone call from her school. Within 30 seconds of that call, I knew we had to have her," said Kennedy. "I was told a that when she is walking across the courtyard and she see a student sitting by himself, she's the one that stops. She exemplifies the idea of building relationships outside of the classroom, which is what we strive for in a teacher." 
 
Middle School Science Teacher Lisa Lain will be busy developing a business plan to turn her passion for cooking and baking into a new career. Stop in and say hello, as she is hoping to open an old-fashioned, candy shop in the Ghent section of Norfolk. While not in the class, Lain was busy coaching the Middle School cheerleading and Destination Imagination teams. Lain is mother to two Collegiate graduates, Taylor Lain '11 and Hailey Lain '13. "She has been the one who steps forward with enthusiasm to serve. We will miss her," said Kennedy.
 
Lower School Second-Grade Teacher Emily Sencindiver joined Norfolk Collegiate in 2011 and is returning home to Pennsylvania to be closer to her family and pursue additional educational opportunities. While at Collegiate, she could be seen hitting the field coaching the varsity girls’ soccer team. Starting this fall, she will be the graduate assistant field hockey coach at Catholic University, while also pursuing her masters for a dual degree in early childhood and special education. "When I first met Emily, it was in the Lower School office. I saw her light up about kids and field hockey, and I knew that she is the person that we wanted," said Kennedy.
 
In May, controller Jon Bass ’97 left Collegiate to join one of the area’s emerging technology companies. The alumnus and father of Tyler Bass ’25, accepted a position as executive vice president of finance with ABS Technology Architects in Virginia Beach. Bass joined the Collegiate team in June 2011 following a career in public accounting, business consulting and the technology sector. Bass holds a Bachelor of Arts from Randolph-Macon College.
 
While we are saddened to see these dedicated educators leave, we wish them the best during these exciting new chapters in their lives.