Teacher Appreciation Week: Surprise Visit, Interview with Frau Laaksonen

Teacher Appreciation Week:  Surprise Visit, Interview with Frau Laaksonen

Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Last week, Mrs. Brown and her Creative Writing class held a surprise celebration for Frau Laaksonen in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day. Mrs. Brown and her students wanted to celebrate all that Frau does for this school, especially in the midst of Academy Ball, student government elections and the DI team Cheryl from Finance heading to Globals.

The Online Tritonian asked Frau some questions about her life and her responsibilities to NDA.

Q: How long have you been working at NDA? Why did you decide to teach? Why did you decide to teach German, specifically?

Frau: I have been working at NDA 20 years.  Growing up I really wanted to be a teacher, but I originally went to college for International Relations because of my background in languages.  However, I soon realized that was not going to be my passion and began my studies in education.  I had graduated high school with four years of Spanish and four years of German.  I loved languages, still do, so German seemed a natural fit.  I want kids to learn about things outside of their own worldview and language is a great vehicle for that.

Q: How long exactly is your commute to school? Does this cause any difficulties in your schedule?

Frau: My commute to school is approximately 50 minutes.  I don’t know any difference anymore, so I have worked with it.  It is sometimes difficult because I have to spend time away from my own family, and I also can’t get to as many NDA events as I would like to.

Q: What is your favorite class to teach at NDA? Why?

Frau: I have loved all of the classes I have taught, but my first love is German.  I have also taught Spanish, Computer Applications and Public Performance at various times.

Q: What clubs/activities/student government events are you a part of?

Frau: I am moderator for German Club, DI, and NDA Productions.  I play a role in all dances, Fall Fest Week,  BOTB, Mr. NDA, Give A Gift, elections, Spring Week and De La Baie Fest.

Q: Who is your role model? Why?

Frau: I believe the older you get, the more role models you accumulate.  They all play pivotal roles in helping you develop into the person you are.  I have role models that have made me a better parent, a better friend, and a better teacher.  My biggest role model in education is Carolyn Brown.  When I arrived at NDA 20 years ago she was this larger than life personality with a strange accent.  Over time I observed and admired the relationship she had with both her students and the people with whom she worked.  I strive every day to be as good as Carolyn Brown.

Q: If you could pick one major accomplishment out of all the things you’ve done while at NDA, what would it be?

Frau: The biggest accomplishment I have is when a former student reaches out and says being in my class meant something to them and that I have been a role model to them.  That is my job, my calling–as it is said, to whom much is given, much is expected.

Lachlan Johnson wrote this poem as a tribute to Frau and shared it to her during the Tuesday celebration:

Dear Frau,

First I must start

With a big thank you.

Thank you

For four years of knowledge.

For four years of fun.

For four years of laughs.

For four years of everything.

From the good

To the bad

You have put up with

Us through everything.

We started with 30

But we’re down to 9

Because you make your

Class enjoyable we 9

Have stayed with it.

German is difficult

Our class is too

But you found a way

For us to make it through


For all of the memories

I would like to say

Thank you


I will miss you.