Humans of Cape Henry – Mrs. Gloria Speight – Upper School Administrative Assistant

Gloria Durand Speight, otherwise known as the high school’s second mom, is not just what her job title of Administrative Assistant describes, but a giver of heartfelt advice, constant smiles that light up the high school’s hallway, and a kindness that never falters even on some of her worst days. Being a local raised in Virginia Beach, more specifically Green Run, Mrs. Speight has seen the city change tremendously throughout the years, considering Virginia Beach to be her home forever, wherever life may take her in the coming years. Mrs. Speight settled down in Virginia Beach with her husband, Douglas Speight, a veteran with whom she says she met in the funniest of ways, and her daughter Halle, a junior at Cape Henry this year. Having attended since middle school, Halle seems to be following in her mother’s footsteps to make a large impact on the people around her in the Cape Henry community, which is only one of the reasons Mrs. Speight claims Halle to be her greatest accomplishment in life. Another addition to the family, but only during his high school years, was Kevin, a boy Mrs. Speight now considers to be like her own son despite Halle’s middle school pleas against him; although now Halle considers him to be her own brother. The Speight family adopted Kevin into their household and are in constant communication with him, always planning when to visit him at college in the States next, according to Mrs. Speight.

Mrs. Speight displays her love for basketball in the winter by coming out to support the boy’s team at all of their games with her husband – who is also a basketball fanatic -, a cheerleader in the stands as she watches Halle cheerlead on the sidelines. Mrs. Speight is also an avid follower of college basketball, as is her whole family. She’s extremely invested in the Dolphins season, commenting she “hopes they’ll do well”, and says the same for college basketball. One of her secret talents, she revealed, has to do with sports as well, but not the kind you’d think. Mrs. Speight shared she is unusually good at foosball and that they used to have a foosball table in their house, but they got rid of it (probably because Mrs. Speight kept beating everyone).

The best, most impactful experience Mrs. Speight has had thus far is her first nexus trip to Turkey. She says the “culture was so rich” and the country was, for lack of a better word, “amazing”; it was clear that even the thought of the trip made her speechless even today. She said she was so “grateful to have visited the country” before the area erupted into “so much unrest”. Her toughest experience she says she has not encountered yet, but is glad to have not.

Her lessons learned is that we “learn from everyone”. She attributes this lesson to giving “mom-like advice to the high schoolers” and learning from “each new class” that comes through the halls. She makes such deep connections and learns so much from each student that she “genuinely cries at every graduation” because of how “proud I am of them”. Her words of wisdom she often imposes on students are that you “shouldn’t brush time away” and should cherish every moment because they pass so quickly.

Mrs. Speight’s ultimate goals for the future are not yet planned, as she “doesn’t think that far ahead”, sticking to her words of wisdom and not brushing time away, but rather focusing on the present. She just wants her future to entail “health, happiness, and togetherness”, which is the perfect encapsulation of the essence of Mrs. Speight.