The article below is part of the CCA “Teacher Feature” series designed to highlight our top-notch instructional staff. For more information, visit our Faculty and Staff page.
Laurie’s knowledge of Scripture and doctrine made her an excellent teaching candidate for the middle school Bible class. And while we needed a Bible teacher, what we needed even more desperately was a middle school math teacher! So she went home and prayed, and despite the fact that this was a big step out of her comfort zone, she said yes to math! And none of her students or their parents would believe that this lady was not born to teach math. She teaches fractions and decimals and integers like a pro, but there’s something more to this lady than just a skilled teacher and mathematician. If you spent any time in Laurie Ward’s class, you’d see that she doesn’t actually teach math. She teaches students.
Her students would say she is tough, but she cares about them, and that combination makes for an outstanding educator. Every student in Laurie’s class is treated as an individual. She goes out of her way to meet their academic needs, and will not leave anyone in the class behind. She spends many evenings talking with parents on the phone, helping them coach their students through ratios, percentages or theorems. She offers individual help before and after school. She will arrange her schedule to attend important events in students’ lives. She also makes learning enjoyable. For example, she planned an in-class celebration on International Pi Day (March 14th, of course, 3.14). Laurie brought in several homemade pies to share and hosted a competition to see who could memorize the most digits of pi. Laurie has high expectations, and insists on a strong work ethic from her students, but she offers a high level of support so the students can rise up and meet those standards.
Besides teaching 6th, 7th and 8th grade math, Laurie also teaches high school Bible. She is in the process becoming a certified Biblical Counselor through online classes. Her son, Adam, is an 9th grader at CCA. Laurie has two other children–Amanda is a freshman at VCU in Richmond and Drew is a Junior at Virginia Tech. Her husband, Andy, is a commercial pilot with United Airlines. They worship at Community Christian Fellowship. In her free time, Laurie likes to run. She is currently training for a half marathon, but don’t be surprised if you see her keep going once she is past the finish line. This is a lady who always goes the extra mile.