Above and beyond for students

Lauren Ball


Part 1: A few questions with the teachers of the year

by A.C. Hall

The White Settlement Independent School District teachers of the year go above and beyond for the children of our community.  School may be out for the summer, but over the next several weeks we’ll get to know these honored teachers.
This week we’re talking with Lauren Ball, the teacher of the year from Blue Haze Elementary.

Grizzly:  What was your reaction when you found out you’d been chosen as one of the teachers of the year?
I was honored that my friends and colleagues thought so highly of me.  It means a lot to know that the work you do each day is noticed and appreciated by others.

Grizzly:  What are some things you like to do when you’re not teaching?
I enjoy spending time with my husband J.J. and my son Brennan.  As a family we love going to sporting events and being outdoors.  I also enjoy seeing movies with family and friends.  We travel to Mississippi to visit family each summer.

Grizzly:  Is there a teacher or educator that influenced you in your life?  If so, please share a little about them and how they influenced you.
There was one teacher in particular that helped encourage my childhood dreams of being a teacher, Mrs. Kathy Park.  She lived down the street from me and I loved getting to help her in the classroom.  Each summer she taught Gifted and Talented Summer Camps for Fort Worth ISD, and I would get to go with her and help.  I felt honored for her to ask me to be there each week.  After graduating from college in December, I came back to Fort Worth and again I was able to come and work with Mrs. Park.  Finding a job was difficult in the middle of the year, but she recommended me for a position at my old elementary school working with her as a compliance teacher.  This position allowed me to go into the classroom with Mrs. Park once again.  As an adult, I was even more in awe of her ability to reach the children in her classroom.  Now I had a new perspective and appreciation for her hard work in the classroom over the last 20 years.  She still had the positive attitude and patience that she had when she had started working many years ago.  Mrs. Park is truly an inspiration to anyone in the teaching profession.  Thinking about her positive attitude and the patience she has with her students reminds me about the kind of teacher that I want to be.

Grizzly:  Please share one of your favorite memories from your time teaching in WSISD.
I recently went to the funeral of one of my former students.  She was in my class my very first year teaching 1st grade in WSISD, and she will live in my memory forever.  Her love for life and her positive attitude made every day a good day.  Her stories and jokes always made me laugh.  I was able to follow her through her years at Blue Haze, and the pictures and hugs I received throughout the years were heartfelt and appreciated.  I leave her picture up in my classroom near my computer and seeing her smile reminds me of her positivity each day and leaves me with a smile on my face.