Wash.-Lee Teacher Works in Africa

Wash.-Lee Teacher Works in Africa

Getting to Know...

Name: Barbara Bilgre

Town/Neighborhood: The Westover area in Arlington

Years in the Community: Two years resident; three years teaching

Occupation/Position: Biology teacher, Washington-Lee High School.

Achievements: This summer, Bilgre spent three weeks in Kenya on a professional development program run by Earthwatch, a nonprofit that matches everyday volunteers with researchers in need of manpower. She assisted assisting researchers that were trying to assess the quality if the plant life in the Samburu district of Kenya, and also visited schools in a remote region.

Family: Bilgre, single, has two dogs and a cat. All were adopted fromthe Central American country of Belize while she worked on her Master's degree and later lived there.

What do you like or dislike about your community?: "I like that there's a lot of community support for the school systems, and the schools are very strong because of it. I don't like that it's as urban as it is, especially having lived in such remote places in my life."

Favorite local restaurant/place: "I don't go out often, but I do love the Lost Dog Cafe and The Italian Store is the closest to New York pizza I've found around here."

Sports Interests/Activities/Hobbies: Travel, hiking with her dogs, snorkeling and scuba-diving, "anything that has to do with the oceans." She also sometimes weaves baskets in her spare time, a skill that she was taught by her aunt.

Community Concerns: "I guess for me, being a person who loves the environment so much, I'm concerned about overdevelopment of county and effect it has on wildlife. I also notice that within our school there's a lot of ethnic diversity, but even though the diversity's there there's not always a lot of mixing between the cultures."

Personal Goals: Continuing to teach. Bilgre would also like to get students more involved in preserving the local environment through such projects as stream cleanups, and would like to combine her background in field biology with teaching.

What community "hidden treasure" should more people know about?: "People that haven't been out to the Potomac Heritage Trail should know that it's a great place to go."