Lauren Lohman wants her students to never give up.
Fourth-grade teacher Lauren Lohman fell in love with teaching at Ormond Beach Elementary.
After spending some time working at a Montessori preschool, Lohman, who was born and raised in Ormond Beach, discovered teaching was her "fit," and went back to school. Her internship brought her to Ormond Beach Elementary where she met her mentor Ruth Bethea, who was teaching fourth-grade at the time. Even though she had originally wanted to teach kindergarten or first grade, Bethea influenced her to think a different way.
When internship ended and there were no job openings at Ormond Beach Elementary, Lohman was disappointed. She ended up getting a job offer from Champion Elementary in Daytona Beach to teach first grade, which she accepted. However, the day before she was supposed to meet the parents of her first graders, she got a call that changed everything.
The principal of Ormond Beach elementary at the time called her and informed her of a job opening in fourth grade — teaching her former mentor's class.
“Tears were coming down my eyes," Lohman said. "I immediately was like ‘yes, I want the job. I don’t care how crazy it’s going to be."
She has been at Ormond Beach elementary for five years now.
“It could have been a whole different life, and now I’m here,” Lohman said.
Her favorite thing about teaching is the students. She said she wants them to be excited about school, and to never give up even if they fail or make a mistake over and over. When she gets to see them have a "light bulb" moment, Lohman said that makes everything worth it and is what motivates her to keep going.
“Every day you just look for those light bulbs," Lohman said. "Every day you look for them to be excited about learning.”
Her nomination for Teacher of the Year means a lot to her, especially since the year she was named is the year Bethea is retiring as the school's academic coach.
“It’s like she’s passed the baton and everything, you know," Lohman said. "I’ve learned so much from her. It’s special—it’s very special.”