The Secret Lives of Teachers: Part 3

Teachers of LHS reveal their hobbies outside of school.

Snow and a friend in front of the Eiffel Tower. She backpacked across Europe during the summer of 2016.

Annie Evans, Managing Editor

Welcoming students into his classroom after school, he smiles as they take out their cards. He takes out his own deck and prepares for battle. His passion for trading card games and teaching combine as he begins the club’s meeting.

Teachers are more than what they seem on the surface. Chemistry and biology teacher Steven Hitt, Pre-AP English and AP Language and Composition teacher Penny Snow, and principal Valerie Payne all have hobbies outside of school that might surprise their students.

“I enjoy the strategy that goes into [Magic the Gathering],” Hitt said. “There is a lot of creativity that goes into it. I wanted to build relationships with students and decided it looked like fun.”

Hitt began playing trading card games after some of his students asked him to be their club sponsor. After watching them play and deciding to learn himself, he has begun playing outside of school with friends and competitively.  

“I like to wander and see new things,” Snow said. “With backpacking, you can go anywhere, and if you get lost, it’s not a big deal. When you teach, you tell stories, so if you have stories to tell, you can tie it into anything.”

Snow spent two weeks of her summer in 2016 backpacking through Europe with two friends. From the start, their plans were altered, but that only emphasized the point of why she enjoys backpacking.

“Being a teacher makes you enjoy [backpacking] because you’re bell to bell,” Snow said. “You [have] obligations all day long. With backpacking, time doesn’t matter, there is no obligation[and], there is just nature to enjoy.”

Snow spends her summers traveling with family and visiting the world around her. She gains knowledge from the sites she visits that she ultimately brings back to her classroom by connecting her experiences to lessons.

I like to wander and see new things.

— Penny Snow

“I didn’t tell anybody [when] I went to motorcycle school,” Payne said. “I thought, ‘My students are going to think their principal is crazy because she’s going to get her motorcycle license.’”

Living in Arizona, Payne experienced a climate that allowed for a motorcycle to be a staple mode of transportation. After realizing that she wasn’t as educated on using the motorcycle as she should have been, Payne attended motorcycle school where she got her license to drive them.

“[My husband and I] still travel all over the country or in the summertime,” Payne said. “It’s a fun hobby, because we can be together. We have intercom, a music system; [our bike] is the Cadillac of the motorcycles.”

Payne and her husband carry a trailer on their motorcycle for extended vacations. The pair have traveled from Arizona to North Dakota on the bike before.

“This country is a beautiful place,” Payne said. “On the back, or front, of a motorcycle, you have no obstruction of vision like you do in a car, so you can enjoy all of the geography. It’s been a lot of fun and a great way to spend time together.”