GWUOHS Faculty Profile – Spotlight: Mrs. Yvette (Nikki) Leighton

Dina S., Contributor

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“I love seeing students succeed when they thought maybe they couldn’t.”

Mrs. Leighton is one of the social studies teachers of GWUOHS. She currently teaches World History, Modern World Studies, AP World History, AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, and U.S. and Global Economies. She has also taught psychology, sociology, government, and AP Psychology.

She grew up in a small town in southwest Virginia, called Radford. She left the area for awhile before returning for graduate school at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Mrs. Leighton’s favorite subject in high school was world history. “I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that the teacher was great to the students and treated us like adults.” This is what made her so keen to continue on the track of history and social studies.

And so, she spent her undergraduate school years at the University of Tennessee, where she was a major in anthropology and had a minor in sociology and history. It was there that she made the decision to pursue a teaching career. She and her Cultural Anthropology professor discussed one day how one could apply the study of artifacts, cultures, and diversity to a high school social studies classroom, and afterwards, she was excited to try it out! After the conversation, she chose to switch her major and minors around to better fit her new career path.

As a teacher, Mrs. Leighton had a few colleagues who switched from a traditional schooling environment to teaching online. Because she received such good feedback from them, she decided to research on the internet where she found us. “I got very lucky with GWUOHS!”

“I would say I have two favorite things about teaching; one is that I have to opportunity to meet and interact with so many new and different people each school year. I’ve always found that fascinating. The other is that it gives to the opportunity to read and learn new things constantly, so I always feel like I have the opportunity for growth.”

Mrs. Leighton currently lives in Virginia with her husband and her daughter. She enjoys to cook, travel, and spend time with her family. She is also passionate about keeping up with current events—” It’s so important to do so.” As well as this, she loves to read. “I think you could also probably argue that I’m passionate about Harry Potter!”

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GWUOHS Faculty Profile – Spotlight: Mrs. Yvette (Nikki) Leighton