Five Questions with Lori Pursifull


Photo Mitchel Chowning

Lori Pusifull brings twenty-five years of teaching experience to Robinson High School with her. Most recently she taught mathematics at Monroe Middle School.

Khalil White, Cub Reporter

Lori Pursifull joined the Robinson faculty this year after teaching for several years at Monroe Middle School.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I was inspired by my 4th grade teacher. She had a compassion for teaching and it made me want to be like her. I also had a psychology teacher at St. Pete Jr. College that spoke to the class about a need for teachers and the satisfaction you get from teaching. He inspired me to get a degree in [education].

What college/university did you attend? What was your major? Did you receive your Masters Degree?

I attended USF for 1.5  years after graduating from high school. My first declared major was medical technology. I was also working to pay for college and lost my desire to continue after 1.5 years. I worked for the next two years in a warehouse doing inventory control. I finally decided to go back to school and attended St. Pete Jr. College. I got my [associates] degree and transferred back to USF, where my major was mathematics education. I was still working to pay for school, but I was much more focused because I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I completed my [bachelors] degree and started teaching at Oak Grove Jr. High (where I interned). I went back after teaching for about seven years and got my Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Aside from teaching, what else do you have a passion for?

I love to travel. I try to go somewhere out of Florida every summer. I love playing and watching all kinds of sports.

What are you currently teaching at Robinson High School? What previous schools have you worked at? What other subjects have you taught?

 I am currently teaching Algebra I and Geometry. I taught at Monroe Middle School for the sixteen years. Before that I was at Oak Grove Jr. High (7th grade center) and Middleton Middle School of Technology (the first middle magnet school in Hillsborough County), which is now Ferrel Middle School. I have taught 6th grade intensive math; 7th grade intensive, regular and advanced; 8th grade intensive and regular; pre-algebra, algebra, algebra honors and geometry honors.

Overall, how has your teaching experience been?

This is my twenty-fifth year of teaching and I still enjoy it. Every new group of students presents new challenges and every year the county decides to try a new program, book or technology. Even teachers have to go to classes to learn what’s new in education. I wouldn’t change my career choice for anything else. I’m fortunate to get to work in a field I enjoy. It would be miserable to go to work every day and dread it.