Be the Change: Stacey Laub: Empowering Youth

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Stacey Laub teaches sixth grade science at Sisson Elementary School in Mt. Shasta, and environmental science online through the University of Phoenix. “Stacey is a fantastic educator and is fabulous with children,” says Bette Lazalde, special education resource teacher at Mt. Shasta Elementary School. “She loves her work and is adaptable in her teaching.”

Stacey admits that her love of children and teaching are her passions. One of her primary goals is to empower children. “Children often have no control over their lives. My goal as an educator is to help them see how much power they have. This can help make the world a better place,” she explains.

She also reveals that her students help her grow both personally and as a teacher. “That ‘aha’ moment, when one of my students or I really get something, is the most exciting thing for me,” she says. “I continually want to grow and expand.”

[sws_pullquote_left] “Always show more kindness than seems necessary, because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.” – Collin Powell, sharing an elderly priest’s advice. [/sws_pullquote_left] A current project of Stacey’s is initiating a Kiwanis-sponsored Builder’s Club for her middle school students. Her desire grew out of previous work she did with the Kiwanis BUG (Bringing Up Grades) program. Through BUG, children who improve their school performance are recognized in a community event. Stacey attended those celebrations as her students’ cheerleader. “Often only children who excel are recognized,” says Stacey. “It’s important to honor progress, too.”

The Builder’s Club assists youth to develop leadership skills, serve the community, and see that they can be a change in the world. It begins at the school level and expands to groups within the greater community, like the elderly and infirmed. “The big thing missing in our culture is connection,” says Stacey. “If people could see how they’re connected, their lives would change and they would see their effect in the world.” She believes Builders Club is a way for students to recognize their connection to others.

art-0313-btc1Stacey sees herself as a role model for children and teens who don’t take a linear path through school (i.e., kindergarten through high school graduation). “It’s strange for a teacher to say, but I really didn’t like school,” says Stacey. She took the General Educational Development (GED) exam following her junior year in high school, and took a front desk job at a hotel in Oakland, CA.

Concurrently, Stacey had a baby she named Jordan, who is now 21 and taking drafting courses online through California State University, East Bay. When Jordan was 1 year old, she moved to Chico and returned to school. “I made the move because of encouragement from my sister and a good friend,” she says. “It changed my life.” Making this life-changing decision reinforced her belief that at some deep level, every challenge is something she’s asked for. “I take the lesson from each situation and see what I’m supposed to learn,” she says. “I learned that I was to become more educated and become a teacher.”

Stacey moved to Dunsmuir in 2006. She began working in the community assisting others to work through the challenges in their life in a positive way. One of her most rewarding experiences was teaching parenting classes to teenage moms through the Dunsmuir Community Resource Center. “The girls were open and wanted to learn skills so they could be the best moms possible,” she recalls. She also taught parenting classes to couples in Mt. Shasta.

art-0313-btc3When Stacey is not teaching or serving other community causes, she exercises and enjoys her pets – three dogs and two cats. She has rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that affects the joints and other parts of the body, and understands that to feel well, she has to move and stay actively engaged with life. Stacey walks, snowshoes, hikes and dances. “I really believe in ‘use it or lose it,’” she says, “and exercising helps me live fully and successfully.”

Stacey rounds out her rich life by spending time with family and friends. “Everyone needs a friend like Stacey,” says Lazalde. “She is positive and always there for others. She exhibits kindness.”

To contact Stacey, call (530) 926-3846.

[sws_blue_box box_size=”580″]The mission of our Be the Change column is to feature a community member from the North State who is actively making a difference in the lives of children and families. If you would like to nominate someone who is making a difference, please write to pn@northstateparent.com[/sws_blue_box]

Carolyn Warnemuende
About Carolyn Warnemuende

Author Carolyn Warnemuende has two daughters and five grandchildren, and lives with her husband in Redding. She writes parenting and educational articles, sponsors a school in Uganda, and visits Africa twice a year. She receives great joy in taking daily care of her four-year-old granddaughter who was adopted from Ethiopia.

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