BA, Anthropology, University of Georgia
MA, Latin American Studies, University of Florida
Growing up in Atlanta on a steady diet of Gilbert and Sullivan, Laura became a budding archaeologist when a teacher introduced her to Precolumbian civilizations. Captivated by Mayan, Aztec, and Toltec societies, Laura developed a fascination that compelled her to study anthropology in college and participate in excavating a site where the Hohokam, a prehistoric, yet highly sophisticated Native American community, had lived. Her undergraduate studies led her to focus on Latin culture. After living with a family in Bogota, Columbia, and working as a cultural liaison for forty exchange students from the University of Florida, Laura decided to pursue an academic career.
With more than 25 years experience, Laura is an accomplished and respected professional. She taught Spanish at Notre Dame High School for five years before she began a seventeen-year tenure teaching Spanish at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (CSAS). While teaching at CSAS, the Public Education Foundation acknowledged her efforts by funding three proposals she submitted. These honors allowed her to study geology in Costa Rica, impressionism in France, and archaeology in Greece, and Turkey.
Innovatively intelligent, Laura designed an educational game to help teach foreign language to young children. Based on the television game show Jeopardy, Laura’s game is currently sold through an online marketing company, Carlex.
At St. Peter’s, Laura teaches Spanish to all grade school students and a cultural studies class that is exclusively taught to fourth and firth grade students. She also is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Tennessee.
Enthusiastic about traveling, cooking, collecting art, and gardening, Laura nurtures her creative spirit by combing flea markets and antique stores in search of odd, unusual items that are central to her charming, one-of-a-kind art pieces that she calls “assemblages.” She shares her passions with her husband, David, and they both consider Oaxaca, Mexico, a magical travel destination, noting they ate their first chapulines (roasted grasshoppers) in Oaxaca. They live with three cats: Tiger Lily, Blanca and last but not least, Ninja who Laura says is “a thieving magpie because he carries off bits and pieces of my work in progress.” Her list of favorite things includes “inventing "fractured" fairy tales in Spanish for my students, twisting their arms to eat Bubulubus (a Mexican candy bar), creating new Jeopardy categories, and moonlighting as a masked luchadora (a Mexican female wrestler).”