Northgate Crossing Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Lori Douglass, from left, and Assistant Principal Edmund Lewis hand out student assignment packets from a campus drive-thru lane.
HOUSTON – June 26, 2020 – After being featured in a recent Houston Chronicle story about educators in the Houston area supporting students during the coronavirus pandemic, one Northgate Crossing Elementary School teacher found herself headed for prime time. Fifth-grade teacher Lori Douglass was featured on “Power of Women: Frontline Heroes,” a special production from Lifetime and Variety, which aired on the Lifetime Network on Thursday evening.
“All Spring ISD teachers are great,” Douglass said. “I just got caught in the act.”
Hosted by “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, the special aired on Lifetime while simultaneously being broadcast by Variety on its Facebook page (where it remains available to watch online). The program features the stories of women across the country – including doctors, nurses, teachers and scientists – whose work is helping bring hope and relief in challenging times. Also highlighted are Variety’s 2020 Power of Women honorees – selected for their professional achievements and humanitarian work – including two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, Tony- and Grammy-winning actor Patti LuPone, and eight-time Grammy-nominated singer and actress Janelle Monáe.
A 2016 Spring ISD Teacher of the Year Finalist, Douglass is a veteran educator with a 12-year history at Northgate Crossing and 23 years working in the classroom. Despite the accolades, she was quick to point out that education is, at its roots, a highly collaborative field.
“It takes lots of great teachers,” Douglass said, describing how fellow teachers, support staff, administrators and others had been working together to help families get through all the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.
When she joined other staff members to help distribute Chromebooks for students to use at home during the coronavirus closures, Douglass felt like she was just doing her job as a teacher. When she delivered books to her students’ homes – dropping them off at the front door to maintain safe social distancing – she was just doing what needed to be done to keep students engaged and make sure they had what they needed to successfully complete the school year.
But others noticed and spoke up, leading to the Houston Chronicle featurette and, ultimately, the invitation to take part in the Lifetime special. Douglass said she was reluctant to participate at first, but was happy to help shine a spotlight on the important work her school and the district have done to support families during the campus closures.
“I did want to showcase our district, because I felt like our district had gone above and beyond with the Chromebooks,” Douglass said. “Spring ISD did an extraordinary job reaching out to kids in this time.”
The program included a mixture of in-studio footage and pre-recorded video from across the country featuring honorees and frontline workers, including Douglass, whose segment appears about 20 minutes into the program following an introduction by actress Jennifer Garner. The event also doubled as a fundraiser helping raise donations to support the Equal Justice Initiative.