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Viola Norman

Educator and Founder of EMPOWER

My love of working with children began with my very first job. I worked as an assistant teacher in a preschool for underserved families. That witty, fun-loving group of 4 and 5-year-olds ignited my passion for teaching.


I am a proud product of Cincinnati Public Schools, and upon earning a degree in Early Childhood - Elementary Education from Ohio University, I returned to start my teaching career. I taught in the Cincinnati Public School District for 30 years. As a classroom teacher, I created a warm, caring classroom environment with well-disciplined students who were motivated to learn and worked hard to meet academic expectations. While serving as a primary team leader in the district, I earned the respect of my colleagues. Under my leadership, our students could consistently meet or exceed academic targets set by the state of Ohio. I never stopped learning and growing my teaching practice. I kept up with the most current pedagogies in the field of education and earned many additional certifications and endorsements. Some of the most recent include SEL-Social Emotional Learning, Trauma and Equity Informed Approach to Teaching, TESOL Endorsement-Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Orton-Gillingham Structured Literacy- Advanced Training.

After retiring in 2015, I knew I wasn't done serving students and families.

I returned to CPS, first as an English Language Arts tutor and then as the facilitator of the Alternative Learning Center, a unique program created to help students with challenging behaviors stay in school and continue learning while in time-out. In this position, I also teach skills that allow students to take responsibility for their actions, manage their emotions, and improve their behavior. Building good character and developing social intelligence is just as important as mastering academic skills.


I enjoy spending time with my family and close friends when I'm not working. I love attending the theatre, ballet, and museums. I also enjoy swimming and being outdoors.

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