Troup County Career Center names Laura Lee Pike Teacher of the Year

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, November 16, 2022

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As a child, one of the most common questions asked is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For Troup County Career Center’s Teacher of the Year, Laura Lee Pike, the answer was simple — a teacher.

“When all my friends were playing doctor, lawyer or post office, I was lining up my dolls and giving them a test. I would grade papers with a red marker my mother gave me,” Pike said. “I just knew early on that I wanted to be a teacher.”

Growing up, Pike said she had two good teachers that instilled a love of english in her.

“One was Dr. Terri Roberson in the seventh grade and the other was Mrs. Brenda Armstrong my senior year,” Pike said. “They really instilled in me a love of language, especially grammar —that’s my favorite thing. I love the way words make sentences and how sentences make paragraphs. From a single word to an idea fascinates me.”

Pike said in her 36 years of teaching, the most fulfilling part of her job is watching her students make connections and learn.

“That proverbial light over the student’s head, when they finally get it, it makes getting up in the mornings after 36 years very rewarding,” Pike said. “Those moments might not come every day, but they come enough to keep me charging forward. I can’t imagine not coming to work and teaching students every day. People ask me all the time, ‘Why do I still do this?’ and I say I can’t imagine  not doing it.”

In her time teaching at TC3, Pike said she has learned the value of creating relationships with her students.

“Building relationships with kids is the key to getting them motivated,” Pike said. “When they know you care about them, then they care more about themselves. That in turn, is a catalyst for them to work harder and meet their goals academically.”

Pike said if she wasn’t teaching, she’d be tutoring for the SAT and ACT.

“I started a little business with a friend of mine, and we offer ACT and SAT classes,” Pike said. “I’ve found that to be very rewarding helping kids get into the college of their choice with scholarship money. Hopefully, when I do retire, that will be what I do full-time.”

When Pike isn’t teaching at TC3, she can be found watching or attending Auburn football games or tending to her garden.

“I think the proudest things I have grown are all the ingredients to make salsa,” Pike said.