There are few high school teachers in the world whose name can be said amongst any student in their school and receive the reaction of "I love them!" or "That's my favorite teacher!" every time. Valparaiso High School is able to boast of one of these special educators, though, in their own Lauren Covington.
As a Marketing, Accounting, Business Math, AP Computer Science, and Intro to Business teacher, as well as Senior Class sponsor, DECA sponsor, Student Council sponsor, and VHS Director of Football operations, Covington serves as one of the most influential, involved, and amazing educators that VHS has to offer.
A graduate of Central Michigan University, Covington came to VHS after graduating with a Bachelor's of Science in Education in 2007. While at CMU, she studied Business Education and English, realizing rather early on that her calling within the realms of education was to teach high schoolers, rather than young children.
"I began with studying Elementary Education, but then realized that I wanted to be able to have real, intelligent conversations with my students. I decided that teaching high school would probably be better suited for that, and pursued more of Business Education instead." Covington said.
The enthusiasm Covington has for her job and those she teaches could not be more evident, and is shown clearly through the numerous classes she teaches and student activities she is involved in. During her first few years at VHS, Covington taught Marketing, Intro to Business, and Computer Applications, and has picked up Accounting, Business Math, and AP Computer Science in the last couple of years. While all are clearly key classes to succeeding in a business industry, Covington shared that her two favorite classes to teach are Intro to Business and Accounting.
"Intro to Business is just such a good life skills class. Whether you're teaching it or learning it, you can see how applicable it is to life in general. With Accounting, everything is black and white, which makes it a great class to teach, and great for the students' comprehension of what we learn," Covington said.
This dedication to her students carries outside of the classroom as well, though, into all of the student activities she is involved in. Covington has a strong belief in the "give as much as you can" philosophy, and certainly upholds it through all her time spent dedicated to doing various activities with or for students. Whether it's aiding in Student Council matters or spending her afternoons with the football team, Covington can always be found with the same smile, positive attitude, and enthusiasm for whatever activity she is partaking in.
"I love getting to know kids outside of the classroom, it's such an awesome experience. When I'm able to get to know a student outside of my class, it makes my job one hundred times easier, and the classroom a much more pleasant learning environment of mutual respect and understanding. I'm a big promoter of treating students like 'real humans' and not just a group I'm talking down to, so when I can be involved in things they're involved in and relate with them, everyone is happier," she explained.
It is through this passion and willingness to relate to her students that Covington has earned herself the reputation among students at VHS as one of the best teachers one could have. She upholds a classroom environment that is interesting, positive, and fun at all times, making it very easy for students to succeed and learn beyond what is just in the books.
When she is not involving herself in her many VHS duties, Covington primarily spends her time doing little "fix it" projects and decorating the house she recently bought herself, an accomplishment that she is very proud and thrilled about. She discussed that while buying a house has been incredibly exciting, it has also served as a good experience to be able to bring up in the classroom. Teaching classes that primarily deal with business, money, and general important "real life skills", Covington expressed how everything she has experienced with the buy has served as great talking points with her students. She is enjoying settling in now, and loves all of the little projects that have come with it.
Lauren Covington exemplifies what makes a true educator in our school system today. Her commitment is extraordinary, and her students could not be more grateful. She not only educates youth, but touches lives and inspires her students to want to "do more" with what she has taught them, and for that, VHS could not be more fortunate.