By Sam Lovett-Perkins
Rumors have been swirling about the departure of History teacher Diana Laufenberg, who teaches 11th grade US History and 12th grade American Government and Globalization. These rumors can now be put to rest, as it has been confirmed that she will be leaving SLA at the end of this school year.
Laufenberg’s leave should actually not be a surprise, as it was her plan from when she first got hired at SLA.
“When I moved to Philadelphia, I came with the understanding I would stay for one advisory cycle,” she said. “Part of the decision to leave was because that had always been my life plan.”
Teachers at SLA often stick around for a minimum of four years, because an advisory group attends the school for that number of years. Ms. Laufenberg, while never having had a single advisory from freshmen to seniors, is one of the cornerstones of the staff. This year she is the “enberg” half of the sophomore Hullenberg advisory with Ms. Hull.
Ms. Laufenberg came to SLA after years of teaching in Kansas and Arizona, and has made many major contributions to the school. One impact she has made was on the Debate Team, where she is the founding teacher.
“Before debates she would always say, “Go out and debate well, trust the case that you’ve made,” said Junior Manna-Symone Middlebrooks, who is a member of the debate team. “There was not a single point in time where I doubted her confidence in the teams ability to succeed and do well.”
She has also given feedback and helped design SLA’s user friendly public platform known as SLATE. SLA’s staff and her helped to build the “strong learning management system.”
Many students are curious about what teachers do when they are not at SLA. When asked, Ms. Laufenberg responded with a wealth of possibilities for her plan.
“I’ll be doing consulting work, keynotes, conferences, assisting my brother-in-law or at my hometown primary school, professional development and whatnot- assistance in education.” Other possibilities include going international by revisiting Qatar, where she participated in a TED conference earlier this spring, or the American University of Milan.
SLA has already welcomed a new history teacher, Pearl Jonas, who will have a freshman advisory next year. Ms. Rami will be assisting with Educon and the Debate Team, and much of Ms. Laufenberg’s scheduling responsibilities will be picked up by Ms. Thompson.