Story by Laura Simmons, Walker Valley Junior
Ms. Laurel Allen has started her first year of teaching at Walker Valley this semester and has a certain calling to the task. She is a graduate of Lee University and received her bachelor’s in health and wellness.
She is currently the ACT prep teacher and brings her positive attitude with her everywhere she goes. She is young and energetic, and she knows how to prepare students for the test that could determine their futures, but she had no idea she would be in the position to do so. She explained that if someone had told her she would be a high school teacher when she was younger, her reply would have been disbelief and laughter.
However, the inspiration to get her in the position she is in now came from Maria Woodworth, a 19th century minister Ms. Allen has studied, who has, “…inspired me to be who I am called to be no matter what obstacles may come.” Ms. Allen also has a strong faith in Christ and explained that other than Jesus, her pastor was the best influence on her. “She has encouraged me, imparted wisdom, and loved me unconditionally so I can be who I am called to be.”
Ms. Allen’s beliefs are carried with her everywhere she goes, and the message she wants to get across to students and the rest of the world, she says, would be the works and the miracles of Jesus. With this desire to share his word, she has a specific Bible verse (Psalm 96:3) that states, “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among the peoples.” This is her calling along with her desire for students to remember that she truly cares about them and to, “fulfill every dream they have for their lives.”
She brings her good memories of past funny school experiences with her as well stating that one of the hilarious moments at school was “When I tricked a few boys in my gym class by challenging them to race me. If I won they had to dress out the rest of the semester, but if they beat me they didn’t have to dress out. All three of them thought they were going to beat me, but I had them. The whole gym went crazy when I won.” On a more serious note she explained how her faith in God impacted a student, “I prayed for one of my students who had a knot in her throat and over the weekend the knot disappeared. She and I both believe Jesus healed her.”
Outside of her job,Ms. Allen has varied hobbies and interests. “Most people think I only play sports, but I love to grab a book and read. I also want people to know I am very involved in church and ministry.” On top of this she enjoys spending time with her family. She is single, so she has plenty of time to spend with her niece and nephew whom she adores.
Ms. Allen has impacted students not only with the smile she brings with her every day but through her beliefs as well, and she will continue to do so throughout her time at Walker Valley and wherever else she goes.