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7 Q+A: Feature a Teacher, Meet Lisa Roundtree

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As our kiddos head back to school, we want to honor the teachers who spend their days guiding, teaching and loving our children. (And, thanking them for not rolling their eyes when parents cry at drop-off, forget to sign papers, and/or ask them to answer 7 questions during the busiest time of their year!) Meet South Side Elementary’s beloved Lisa Roundtree.


Lisa and her family

What are you grateful for today?
I am grateful to have a partner in the game of life that is willing to listen to me vent and understand that I don’t always need solutions.

Tell us about one of your friends and what you love about her.
My friend Cassie Arner is a strong, independent woman that I am happy to call a best friend. About ten years ago, she took me in as a roommate when I was in a difficult situation. She has always treated me as family and called me one of her “Arner”ary sisters. In the spring of 2010, my husband had brain surgery at the same exact time that I was put on bedrest before the birth of my twins. Neither of us could lift over 10 pounds, so parenting a 20-month-old was out of the question. Cassie took my daughter Izzy to live with her for several weeks, and brought her over to visit us daily. I hope I can one day repay her for the many things she has done for me.

Describe one of the best days of your life.
One of the best days of my life was when I realized that my friend Jaime was the man that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Students in both of our classes and our co-workers would claim that they knew this fate before I did. 🙂

What’s the best lesson you learned from your mother/grandmother?
My mother was an alcoholic when I was growing up, therefore I was raised by my grandparents. Although I spent time with my mother, most of my memories of her are connected to either fear, confusion, or embarrassment. Indirectly, she taught me how important it is to invest in building a relationship with your children.

We’re all unique. What is your special gift?
My special gift is that I am an awesome bargain shopper! I combine coupons with shopping apps and clearance mark-downs to get things really cheap. I buy clothes and gifts for my kids up to a year ahead of time.

What could women be doing to make their community a better place?
Women can make their community a better place by finding a way to impact the children of the community. By sharing their gifts, talents, and stories, it may be the inspiration that one child needs to catapult them into a successful future.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I absolutely love so many things about Champaign. In fact, my friends and coworkers are like family to me, since I don’t have parents and siblings. Our support network is a big part of what keeps me here. However, I despise the freezing cold! It makes everything more difficult, especially with four young children. If I wasn’t afraid, I would move to a warmer location.


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