Stapp Inspires-A teacher’s teacher

Welcome back to Stapp Inspires Teacher Highlight! This month we step into the office of Diane Lauer, Assistant Superintendent of Priority Programs and Academic Support. Right away, I enter into a warm and welcoming office – Diane, herself, is no different. She has been with St. Vrain Valley Schools for six years, serving the past two as an Assistant Superintendent.

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With a title as long as hers, I wanted to dig in and learn exactly what that label meant. Diane holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Speech Communication. After graduating college Diane began a career as a Consumer Advocate and Mortgage Loan Officer. She soon found that this career pathway did not ignite her passion. On the advice from a friend, she decided to enter into the world of education. This led her to a reservation in New Mexico where she obtained her teaching certificate and fell in love with teaching. She spent three years on the reservation, during that time she completed her second bachelor’s degree in Education with a emphasis on English as a Second Language.

Leaving New Mexico, she came to our great state of Colorado and for ten years taught middle school Language Arts and Social Studies. She was an innovative teacher who loved to try new techniques and different ideas to encourage her students to succeed. She was often called upon to help other teachers implement these techniques in their classrooms. Her mentor encouraged her to become a principal and she loved it. She loved seeing the positive impact she could have on an entire school. She also realized the great responsibility of this position – how her influence affected, not one class of students, but several classes over many years. She was drawn to her current administrative role because she felt she could impact every student in St. Vrain. She doesn’t take this responsibility lightly. In fact the day we met, she had been visiting with schools, personally. She takes every opportunity to visit schools because it is invigorating and exciting to see what is happening in the classroom.

After we discussed what brought her to St. Vrain, we move on. I do want to mention, that at this point, I was wishing I could have been one of her middle school students. You can tell she challenged her students and expected you to give your best. You wouldn’t have cared because you knew she believed in you and encouraged you along the way. She’s a natural-born teacher that always reflects on how she can use her current position to help positively influence students within St. Vrain Valley Schools.

A big chunk of Diane’s time is spent working on professional development – not only focusing on classroom teachers, but administrators and classified staff as well. By investing in professional development, the entire St. Vrain workforce improves, which in turn leads to greater learning opportunities for every student. We continue this discussion on how this plays out in the district. From providing standardized training for all district employees – First Aid, Design Thinking, Safety and Security – to customized school-level training, Diane oversees all of these things.

I could spend even more time describing all the different programs the district provides, but I would be doing a disservice to everyone reading this. I don’t think I can accurately convey the passion Diane has for her job and the people she oversees. She believes wholeheartedly that every student, teacher, staff and administrator can succeed, if the right support is in place. She is excited to move to the new Innovation Center of St. Vrain Valley Schools, so she can help accelerate the professional growth of others in the district. She truly enjoys watching teachers grow and succeed in their own careers.

We finished up our interview, and as I was leaving she left me with this, “I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. I’m a part of an energized and supportive community. I’m honored to be here. It’s great being a part of the community.”

Diane, thank you for all the behind-the-scenes work you do. Your passion and caring nature is an asset to St. Vrain Valley Schools and the community as a whole. Thank you for caring so deeply for those around you. We wish you all the best!

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