After 19 years, Leigh Tinsley returns to Blair


Sept. 27, 2018, 6:27 p.m. | By Emmy Song | 2 months, 1 week ago

English teacher Leigh Tinsley fuses her love of language, rhetoric and diversity at Blair.


"When you teach writing, you get to see kids grow and come into their own voices, and there's something really validating about that. They are going to fight for what they believe in and I love giving them the tools to be able to do that in the world."

Photo: Tinsley creates a welcoming atmosphere for her students.

Blair English teacher Leigh Tinsley knew she wanted to be a teacher since her sophomore year of high school, where she drew inspiration from her English teacher. Now, it's her own students who give her the motivation to teach every day. "I'm inspired by youth because they have a lot of energy, passion and idealism that older people don't have," Tinsley says.

Tinsley grew up in a small town in Connecticut and always dreamed of moving to a larger city for college. "I wanted a big school with a lot of different kinds of people since I didn't really have that exposure as a kid," she says. Tinsley found the diversity she was searching for while pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland (UMD). Tinsley also stepped into Blair for the first time as a student teacher while studying at UMD. Impressed by Blair's size and diversity, Tinsley has never forgotten its appeal throughout the years. "My impression of Blair was always like this is the best of Montgomery County. It's just this really neat, diverse, welcoming community," she says.

Tinsley first began teaching at Gaithersburg High School before moving to Silver Spring in 2003. She then taught AP English Language and Composition at James Hubert Blake High School for seven years, returned to Gaithersburg for another six years and continues to teach at Blair with a good-natured disposition and inviting smile. "It's going to be fun and I'm already enjoying my students' enthusiasm and dedication and commitment. I’m really excited to be here," she says.

Last updated: Sept. 28, 2018, 10:29 a.m.


Tags: teacher feature Leigh Tinsley

Emmy Song. Hi! I'm Emmy and I'm a junior at Blair. When I'm not writing articles for SCO, I can be found solving math problems, curating Spotify playlists, or watching the sun set. More »

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