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  • Nicholas Turk, Staff Writer

Teacher of the Year in Review

Lakeside, last school year, declared Coach Lauren Levin “Teacher of the Year.” This school year, no such person exists. In her place now is Coach Lauren Boggs, or as she prefers, Coach LB. Many things have changed this past semester, so I checked in to see what else was new with the Teacher of the Year.

Below is Coach LB with her new engagement ring.

The first responsibility of Coach LB around Lakeside is that of a social studies teacher. She teaches Civics and AP United States Government, both of which have changed a bit. When I attended her government class last school year, I remember having several discussions and debates on all sorts of issues in government. When asked how she kept student engagement up in a virtual format, Coach LB asserted that “controversial” questions get students involved regardless of the platform, so she could keep student-led discussions going even in a new medium. Senior Shaswat Dhakal, a member of her government class, confirmed this, but made a distinction that debates were few and far between, referring to student interactions instead as “discussions.” The material itself hadn’t changed much, either. I recalled some of the projects that Dhakal talked about from my time in the class.

Homework, however, had changed a bit. Coach LB tends to assign less work than most AP teachers, stating in our interview, “I don’t really believe in homework.” Nonetheless, limited class time this previous semester has pushed her to change her ways. Dhakal mentioned that he had a “fair amount of work” from the class, comparing it to AP Statistics, and Coach LB admitted that she had stepped up the workload from last year, but also allowed for flexible deadlines so as not to overwhelm the class.

I was also curious about how Coach LB navigated the partisan fissure while teaching during last semester’s election. She explained that she “tried to be on both sides” and encouraged the students to rise above the fray in Washington, which she described as “counter to what

we, as a country, used to stand for.” According to Coach LB, just focusing on civil discourse was effective enough to prevent a reflection of DC’s vitriol.

The 2020 presidential election polarized the country.

Speaking of government, Coach LB acts as the co-sponsor for SGA, the Student Government Association at Lakeside. SGA, in Coach LB’s words, “supports big causes in the school.” They also organize school spirit events, like homecoming, which has been delayed this year. Instead, SGA organized a talent show which, according to co-president Jake Holt, had more participation than expected, which has made them consider more events like it in the future.

As for how SGA gets this kind of thing done, they’ve been meeting over Teams like everyone else. Jake Holt explained that their meetings expanded in size over the course of the semester. “Originally, we only had the executive cabinet,” he stated, before describing how they now have bi-monthly meetings with all officers. Coach LB had someone to thank for the coordination of SGA over virtual means, stating that her co-sponsor, Sarah Holt, “is a hero and a champion” due to her role in organizing through social media. Jake Holt, however, refused to understate Coach LB’s own role in SGA, calling her “the idea person” for her contributions to SGA’s activities.

There’s much more to say for Coach LB. She’s still coaching softball, if you wondered where the title came from, and the team will participate in a recreation league this year. She also sponsors the newly-founded Civic Engagement Club, a bipartisan organization in the school that promotes student political activism. At the end of our interview, I asked Shaswat Dhakal if he had anything more to add. He told me that “Coach LB is doing a phenomenal job in virtual school.” It seems we chose our Teacher of the Year well.

Image sources

Image Source of coach LB: Lakeside Softball

Image Source for the Presidential Race: BBC News

Image Source for SGA Symbol: Lakeside Webstore

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