Q & A: Naomi Pryor

Published 4:51 pm Friday, September 3, 2010

Dallas-born, Birmingham-bred, Naomi Pryor is now a very busy teacher at Greenville High School.

Pryor, who lived in Madison City for seven years before moving to the Camellia City, is married to Greenville Middle School band director Chris Pryor. They have two children, Laun, who turns 10 on September 5 and Jacob, who will be six on September 26. She is in her fifth year as a teacher.

Q: You wear a lot of hats in your role as teacher and sponsor at Greenville High School. Can you fill us in?

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A: I currently teach AP English 12; Creative Writing, Theater, and Yearbook. Which means, I help direct the Fall Play and Spring Musical, produce and publish the yearbook and literary/visual arts magazine. I have also taught English 10 and 11, and AP English 11 since I’ve been here.

Q: You and your husband are co-directors for the school’s musical productions. What’s it like working with your spouse in what has to be a stressful undertaking at times? What’s the best part of your collaborations?

A: Chris and I have been working together since our undergrad band days at UAB. We were known as “Ma and Pa Pryor.” We work well together and try to play to each other’s strengths. The best part is getting to spend time together doing something we both love – helping children feel successful.

Q: What lead you to choose a career in education? Was there an “a-ha!” moment along the way?

A: I know the exact moment. When we first moved to Huntsville after we graduated from UAB, I got a job teaching classes at Virginia College at night. After spending all day working in a soda distribution facility in the HR/Payroll department, I spent twp nights a week with adults who struggled with English in high school. The first night of class I asked them to share their high school experiences with me. Some were heart-wrenching. I decided then that if I could be in a high school and prevent those students from suffering the same fate, I could make a positive change. After that semester teaching I enrolled in UAH’s graduate 5th year program to earn my Master’s Degree in English/Secondary Ed.

Q: You and Chris have been married 13 years. How did you first meet? When did you know he was “the one?”

A: A lot of my students already know this story. The second day of band camp my freshman year at UAB. I saw him across the field and just knew. We ended up in an opening set that required the two of us to line up on either side of the 50 yard line. He started waving at me. I ended up asking him out three times before he agreed. So, I knew that first moment; he took a little convincing (grins).

Q: I believe you’ve taken your classes to see the “Twilight” movies, correct? How long have you been a big fan of Meyers’ books?

A: Four years ago a student was reading a book in my English class and could not stop talking about it. I decided to read it so I could see what the fuss was about. I enjoyed it and read all of them fairly quickly.

Q: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

A: (Laughs) With a son named Jacob, which team do you think I’m on?

Q: What are some of your other favorite reads?

A: I love reading young adult literature. I read what my students read. We share and swap books all of the time. I love Sherman Alexie and Gary Paulson’s Harris and Me. I also read The Kite Runner this summer since it is on my AP students’ reading list and I hadn’t read it yet. I will pretty much read anything.

Q: Chris plays a number of instruments and your older son, Laun, is also learning to play several. Do you play any instruments?

A: I play the alto saxophone.

Q: Favorite TV show?

A: We got NETFLIX this summer, so I have been watching a lot of shows I have never seen before. I like The Tudors and Dexter; Sanctuary and Merlin, and Lie to Me and The Dresden Files.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world and money was no object, where would you go and why?

A: Germany. My grandfather was the only member of that side of the family to escape the Holocaust. I’ve always wanted to go to the places he and my family lived and even the place where the rest of my family was murdered by the Nazis.

Q: What’s the most unusual thing about you that most people do not know?

A: There really isn’t anything. My family, students and fellow educators already know that I am unusual . . . I hope that is what they like about me.

Angie Long conducted this interview.