The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 12

LUNCH WITH...

Leading the North Cross Family
VICTOR LAMAS, the platinum winner for "Most Inspiring Teacher"
in the Best of Roanoke 2017 reader poll, is one of the most humble
people I've ever met. It's no surprise, as teachers certainly don't choose
their profession for the money, but it's inspiring to meet people who
would rather focus on the tide that raises all ships rather than just
their own.
Lamas has been at North Cross School for almost 20 years. He has
won multiple awards, including platinum in the 2016 Best of polls
for the same category; gold in 2015 for "Best Teacher," and the 2014
Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching. Originally from Pittsburgh,
he received his bachelor's degree from Washington & Lee University,
and earned his master's from UVA through Roanoke's Higher Education Center. Now director of the lower school at North Cross, he
also teaches ninth grade and AP history.
"This is my first year as director and in some ways, it's like starting
over again," he says. "My administrative assistant, Jenna Alcorn, is
so important. She is such a knowledgeable person and has a cheerful
attitude. Maybe the best part of my new role is seeing her in action."
Lamas credits many other faculty and teachers who have helped
him along the way. Elizabeth Holt, former lower school director, was
and is a great mentor and friend, while Linda Wright is perhaps the
best teacher Lamas has ever worked with.
"Linda and I taught fifth grade together and were like Starsky and
Hutch," he says. "North Cross has so many good people. It's really a
family there. The teachers at our school do an amazing job. They're
asked to do a lot, but in return we're given autonomy to try things
and experiment to make the classroom fun."
They're family outside of the classrooms, too. Lamas and colleague
Betsy Cook even went skydiving together!
Lamas enjoys teaching different subjects, including math, but lights
up when we discuss history. During lunch at Full Moon Cafe, he
often returns to the conversation of teachers being passionate about
their class subjects.
"Kids can tell if you like them," he says. "You care about them, of
course, but they know if you like them and your subject. That's the
first and easiest way to capture them and get them involved."
He credits the North Cross parents as extremely supportive. Many
of them help with events and fundraisers and enjoy being involved
with special projects.
When Lamas started the "Fifth Grade Battle," an elaborate mock
tournament with students participating in Roman battles, parents
came together in droves to make it fun and educational. They made
gear, including the fake shields and swords, and even a large Trojan
horse where students could fit inside to reenact the historical moment
of the Greeks sneaking into Troy.
12 | MAY/JUNE 2017

LIZ LONG

Award-winning teacher Victor Lamas gives all the credit to his team and students.

Victor Lamas is the platinum winner for "Most Inspiring Teacher" in Best
of Roanoke 2017 poll.

He and his wife, Roxana, have been married almost nine years,
and have three children. Their youngest, Joaquin, is a second-grader
at North Cross, and the school has been like a second home to him,
which Lamas loves as it only reinforces those familial relationships.
Roxana is a Spanish interpreter and translator by day, and is interested in photography, which means many of the recent family outings
include trips to the park or other fun spots for her to practice her craft.
The family lives in southwest county, often frequenting the Grandin
area for movies or trips to the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op.
A self-described "nerd," Lamas loves movies as well as binging on
Netflix shows. His list includes several historical shows (some fiction,
some documentary), though he believes most Roman-era movies are
"terrible."
Before we part, he adds that he wants to give credit to teachers at
other schools, too.
"There are so many teachers doing amazing things," he says. "I recognize how lucky I am at North Cross to have support from faculty
and parents!"
-LIZ LONG
THEROANOKER.COM


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker May/June 2017

Worth a Click
From the Editor
Lunch With
Streets of Roanoke
The Gist
Events Calendar
Best of Roanoke 2017
Architects on our Architecture
Fun & Functional: Inside the Glickfield Home
Roanoke Valley Health & Wellness: The A-Z
Tacos ā€˜nā€™ BBQ: A Great Spot for Each
The Dish
Where are They Now?
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Intro
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover1
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover2
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 3
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 4
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 5
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 6
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 7
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Worth a Click
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 9
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - From the Editor
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 11
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Lunch With
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 13
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Streets of Roanoke
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 15
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 16
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 17
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - The Gist
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 19
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 20
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 21
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 22
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Events Calendar
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 24
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 25
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 26
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Best of Roanoke 2017
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 28
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 29
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 30
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 31
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 32
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 33
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 34
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 35
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 36
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 37
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 38
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The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 40
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The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 69
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 70
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 71
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 72
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 73
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 74
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 75
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Architects on our Architecture
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 77
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 78
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 79
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 80
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 81
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 82
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 83
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Fun & Functional: Inside the Glickfield Home
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 85
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 86
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 87
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 88
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 89
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 90
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 91
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Roanoke Valley Health & Wellness: The A-Z
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 93
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 94
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 95
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 96
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 97
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Tacos ā€˜nā€™ BBQ: A Great Spot for Each
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 99
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 100
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 101
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 102
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 103
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 104
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - The Dish
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Where are They Now?
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover3
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover4
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