A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Laci Earle

A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Laci Earle

The world of education is made up of many winding avenues that lead to vastly different experiences because of what’s found along the way, allowing students to learn from all kinds of educators. One such educator happens to be Laci Earle, who lives and works in the Region. She currently is the dual-credit business teacher at Washington Township High School. 

Earle grew up in Leesburg, Indiana, attending high school in a town near Warsaw. She went on to get her bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, and then her master’s at Indiana University (IU) Northwest. 

Though now making a living by teaching in the classroom, Earle wasn’t always set on this path. For 16 years, after graduating from IU Northwest, she went right into doing work with J.W. Hicks, Inc., a refractory supplier, doing purchasing and procurement. Once COVID-19 hit, she began to do some re-evaluation regarding the present and future of her career. Even so, it’s clear that hope has consistently worked its way toward the horizon in front of her, giving Earle something to look forward to in even the darkest of times. 

“Around the time I left, I just lost the joy with which I had been doing my job. I decided to put in my resignation, not really sure what I was going to do with my life. My daughters started school again, and I kept getting emails from the school about subbing, because they were short on subs. I figured I’d just serve in July and then figure out what I want to do, and I really, really wound up enjoying it,” she said. 

A degree of tragedy opened up a grand opportunity for Earle, and later led to a chance for her to advance past merely serving as a sub, which in turn has since changed her life. Sadly, Julie Moore, a long-time dual-credit business teacher at Washington Township High School, suddenly passed away. Her passing meant a critical position needed to be filled. 

“It was a very tragic situation, as Julie was beloved by her students. After a bit of time, I ended up applying for her job when I saw it come across, and as luck would have it, I got it. I soon ended up loving my role, and the rest is history,” she said. 

Ever since she’s gotten into the swing of things, Earle has slowly started to realize her favorite part of her job: the students. She’s recognized it’s all about assisting them in becoming better individuals. Past that, though, it’s about forming connections, too, and Earle is here for every minute of that. 

“The best part about my job is definitely building relationships with my students. We're pumping out some brilliant minds with some big plans, and to be able to spend my day with these students is inspiring. They're just really great humans,” she said. 

Earle’s work has been having positive effects throughout the school district in which she’s serving. Recently, she was Ivy Tech’s Valparaiso Campus recipient of the second annual President's Award for Excellence in Dual Credit Instruction. The honor has surely been felt with all of her heart. 

“That was a complete surprise. I'm very humbled by that. It was very, very nice. I inherited a wonderful program from Julie Moore, where we work tirelessly trying to get our students to get certificates from Ivy Tech, and I’m all about preparing my students for the next steps of their educational journey,” she said. 

Throughout the time she’s spent directing her classes, various things have inspired Earle to keep moving forward. One thing is her relationship with God, and another is the bond she shares with each of her children. Along with both of those things are the people she’s surrounded by when she arrives at school each day, the ones whom she’s working beside. All of the aforementioned things have thus caused her to never take anything for granted, and have pushed her to constantly remain grateful.

“Coming into this role has been the most seamless process for me. I just feel that God truly put me where he wants me to be. I also have three daughters, and they always keep me motivated. Getting up every day and doing something I love, I think, is an important message for my kids. Besides that, my fellow educators could have been pretty abrasive toward how I came into my role, because of how much they liked the teacher who was there before me. Instead, they’ve all been so supportive and incredibly helpful, and that’s truly inspiring. I don't want to let my co-workers down, when they've done nothing but support me,” she said. 

Aside from the incredible work she’s done to benefit her community, Earle also teaches Sunday school at her church, St. John’s Lutheran Church, which is located in Wanatah. Her husband is an active member of the Lions Club, so she helps him out with that whenever time allows. The two of them also help coach their daughters’ travel softball team. 

Earle and her family travel as much as they can. Together, they hope to visit all 50 states before the children begin to do their own things in life. So far, they’ve made it to 39. When they’re grounded in Indiana, however, and as they reside in La Crosse, they enjoy the country-living aspect of things. 

“We love to ride four-wheelers. We have an in-ground pool where we like to hang out when we're not gardening. It’s truly just trying to get back to a simpler life, one away from the computers, away from iPads, smelling the fresh country air. There's always something to do around here,” she said.