Position: Special Education Teacher
School: Hebron High School
School District: MSD of Boone Township
City, State: Hebron, IN
Music that Describes Laura
Laura Lacher was nominated by Christina Singel, the parent of a student.
Mrs. Lacher leads a team of teachers in the special education department and is also the coach for the dance team.
"I first met Mrs. Lacher five years ago, when she began helping my oldest son during his senior year," said Singel. "During the last semester of his senior year, he was told he wouldn't have enough credits to graduate. In order to receive his credits, he had to take credit recovery in addition to going to school every day. In the last hours of school, Mrs. Lacher invited him into her classroom and assisted him with his online courses while the other seniors enjoyed their activities."
He wasn't even her student, but she and the other teachers in her department were determined to see him graduate. She stayed after school with him during that last week of school, and during the two days after the school year ended to see him through. He wasn't able to walk through commencement, but the next morning, they finished the classes together, and she was there for the presentation of his diploma.
Another student that Mrs. Lacher has helped tremendously is a special education student who spent a lot of time in Mrs. Lacher's room during the school day. When they first met, she allowed him to adjust and get to know her, while she did her best to try and build a relationship with him. He is not an easy person to get to know, and academics are very frustrating for him. His coping mechanism for this was to shut down or to act out. Mrs. Lacher gave him better outlets, guarded him, and stood by his side, while respecting his personality and abilities. She knew he knew the material, knew he was smart and understood his learning disability. Through her determination and absolute refusal to allow him to fail, they built an unbreakable bond. She tapped into his talents, focused on his strengths, and adjusted his curriculum in a way that not only made him understand, but helped other teachers understand him.
It's impossible to imagine the hours she has spent in the last four years on him alone, and she has an entire classroom of students with whom she has done the same for. She taps into what they're interested in and adjusts the curriculum into a language they understand. She recognizes their strengths and triggers and runs with it. Mrs. Lacher cares about each student and their individual needs and builds a rapport with them that cannot be matched. She loves them with all her heart, is tough when they need to get focused, and praises them for their hard work. Even when it's challenging, she shows up every day ready to start again and will not quit.
"Without her, I don't know that my son would not have given up, and now he is graduating. She is now helping my daughter, who also isnt' her student" said Singel. "I simply don't know what I'd do without her, and I know the kids feel the same."
Mrs. Lacher is truly a gift her school has to give. She is someone who will make a lasting impression on any student that meets her. She is always coming up with creative ways to teach her students what they need to learn and staying on top of the ever-changing requirements they need to meet. Just when you think she can't possibly sleep, you realize she has been a student during all of this as well, achieving her Master's Degree. She coaches the dance team at her school, and as she does in the classroom, she gives them the much-needed individual attention they need to succeed. She is full of laughter, affection, sarcasm and support. Mrs. Lacher is a great communicator and keeps parents involved. Everyone appreciates her as a professional, a teacher, a support, an example and as a friend. She renews faith and provides an individualized education experience for all students.