Laura Holmes: Communicating, caring for others helps them succeed

Published 6:35 am Thursday, September 29, 2022

Southwest Louisiana native Laura Holmes brings empathy and encouragement to the East Calcasieu Parish Alternative Site through her role as assistant principal.

Holmes earned her Bachelor’s Degree from McNeese State University and her Master’s of Education from Lamar University.

She began her teaching career at LaGrange High School as the girl’s physical education teacher and cheer sponsor. After her time at LaGrange, Holmes served as both the curriculum coordinator for middle school and dean of discipline at CPAS-East before becoming the assistant principal.

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Holmes was born into a family of educators and coaches. After seeing the influence that her family had on their students, she was inspired. “I saw what a positive impact they each had on many of their students that they encouraged and helped along the way.”

“Right after college, I took a long-term leave position in biology for my dad,” she continued.  “That year in the classroom taught me that while I enjoy aspects of science and the interaction with students, my true passion is health and human performance. “

For Holmes, the most enjoyable aspect of being an educator is interacting with students and faculty alike. “I believe that communicating and caring for people usually opens doors to help them succeed.”

This type of communication is vital to help rehabilitate at-risk students, said Holmes. “In my position now at the alternative site, I feel that I can make a bigger difference with at-risk students,” she said.

Holmes says “building trust is the first step to helping students understand the gaps in their social and emotional health and well-being.”

Holmes aims to teach her students “how to win.” This goal is the basis of her educator’s philosophy. “Most students that I currently work with have not had many educational or behavioral wins,” she explained. “My major goal is to provide students with the tools they need to get small wins, to help build confidence not only in school, but in life as well.”

There is much to be learned from students, according to Holmes. She believes that through open communication and empathic relationships with students, a deeper understanding of emotional responses can be gathered.

“Students can provide insight and encouragement by responding positively and sometimes negatively to their life circumstances and offer me opportunities to help them make better decisions,” she said. “I grow as an administrator everyday with the experiences I have with the students at my site.

“They keep grounded and humble daily.”

Holmes and her peers work diligently to provide the students at CPAS-East with a quality education. For her, this means providing “knowledge and skills that open doors for jobs which in turn, improves the economy of the community” and  promoting “the quality of the student’s life which will enhance the community that they live in.”

Holmes wants future teachers to remain sympathetic and gracious. “Forgiveness is key and we should all strive to give people grace,” she said. “Let your love for students and your passion for the curriculum you teach guide you in all aspects of your career choices.”