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Keeping Up With Kelley

October 29, 2021

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Do you love history and Canada? If so, there is one FCHS teacher who would love to bond with you on those subjects alone: History teacher Stephanie Kelley. 

“I am passionate about the Industrial Revolution and World War I. I really enjoy teaching about [those topics] for a few reasons. These events had a significant impact on the world and the future. They changed so much about how we live,” said Kelley, who is teaching World I and World II Honors this semester. “Also, there are photographs from those time periods and even some videos of World War I.  I encourage students to ask their parents and grandparents to ask about if they had family members involved in the war or who worked in factories or mines so I think students can have more of a connection to these time periods,” she added. 

Kelley is married to TV Production teacher David Small. “Mr. Small and I were in plays together in high school.  We both won Most Dramatic as senior superlatives our senior year.  I think I first really met him at a play rehearsal teaching him to play ‘Jungleland’ by Bruce Springsteen on the piano,” she said. 

“I attended York High School in York County, Virginia,” Kelley explained, noting that she grew up in Rhode Island. She then attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Kelley and Small have two children. “Our daughter Erin is an [Agriculture] teacher in Charlotte County and she graduated from Virginia Tech.  Our son, Conner, is a freshman at William and Mary,” she said. Pets have also been a big part of their family in the past. “ My favorite pet was Bailey, a Corgi mix, and my most recent dog was Fenway.”

Outside of school, Kelley enjoys “hiking, traveling, photographing nature and architectural wonders, playing board games, being in the snow and watching snowfall, and reading.”

However, Canada plays a special role in her life. “I enjoy walking the snow-covered streets of Quebec City and watching the ice flows on the St. Lawrence River knowing that my French Canadian ancestors watched the same river hundreds of years ago,” she said. She added that she especially likes Canada’s “cold climate, great architecture, learning about my family history, [and] natural sites like Algonquin Park.” 

Kelley explained that her grandma always stressed that their family was French Canadian, not just Canadian. “Now I understand what she meant, as they had a different history than English Canadians,” she said.

As a result, Kelley and her family try to go to Canada as often as they can. “Really, whether it’s Nanaimo Bars or poutine [a well-known Canadian dish featuring french fries with gravy and cheese on top] or Tim Hortons, or Ottawa, it is not just one ‘love’ I have for Canada, but so many flavors and sites and cooler weather,” she said.

Does she have any plans for future trips to Canada? “We had a trip scheduled the summer of 2020 to travel to the Maritimes in Canada. The pandemic canceled our trip.  Our trip included a stay in yurts, Cape Breton, the Bay of Fundy, and Halifax.  We also planned on doing some ancestry research as my husband had ancestors involved in the deportation of Acadia.  Maybe we will try to take this trip in the summer of 2022,” she said. 

Her dream trip, Kelley said, “would be Quebec City in the snow. We plan on [going to] Quebec City over spring break and the Maritimes trip next summer, depending on Covid restrictions,” she added.  

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About the Contributor
Photo of Molly Pace
Molly Pace, FCHS Journalist

Molly is a junior in her second year in journalism.  She manages the varsity football team on the side and enjoys cooking and baking.

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