Life Lessons with Mrs. Lauren

Julie Jack, Staff Writer

Mrs. Lauren Tillis-White is the WHS Deaf Ed teacher and GSA sponsor. Because in the Deaf community it is respectful to call a teacher by their first name, many students call her Mrs. Lauren while others call her Mrs. White. She’s a teacher who cares for her students’ success and their well-being. She worked hard to get where she is now. A strong minded, motivated, and passionate teacher is the best description that fits her.

“I love working with a variety of kids and helping them overcome obstacles. I also love helping the kids who are struggling, it could be academically or with something in life,” Tillis-White said.

Inspired by her ASL teacher, Ms. Wilson, a career was found for Mrs. Lauren. Learning everything about Deaf Culture, the language, and getting involved in the Deaf community, Mrs. Lauren found where she belongs. She graduated from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, majoring in Deaf Education. She is on her 8th year of teaching, but her third-year teaching here at WHS.

“Mrs. Lauren is an inspiration to me, because she teaches us to be hardworking and patient,” Gage Lockhart said.

She doesn’t just love teaching Deaf Ed; she is also a sponsor of GSA. Being a sponsor of this club opened up a safe place to many LGBTQ+ students. She has helped students embrace who they truly are. Her help gives students a different mindset of life. Mrs. Lauren is a positive influence and she’s given GSA members a memory to keep with them forever.

“I was more than willing to support those students and become their sponsor [of GSA]. I believe that all students need a place to feel safe and know that they have someone on campus who accepts them for who they are. I know how important it is for high schools to have GSAs on campus,” Tillis-White said.

Inspiring other to become who they want to be is what Mrs. Lauren does. Life lesson is what she gives: preparing students for life after high school, for college, and for the future. She works hard to teach students what they need to know whether they are deaf students or GSA members. Mrs. Lauren cherishes her job and is very passionate about it.

“Mrs. Lauren is a person all Americans should become more like. She is a person who teaches and shows us how to become a successful person and inspire many people to know their wants and goals in life,” Jay Keeney said.

Many students here at WHS are very grateful to have Mrs. Lauren as a teacher or a sponsor. Those who are graduating in May 2019, will miss her, but she will have new students to inspire and motivate to become the truest version of themselves.

“Don’t forget that you matter and you are capable of greatness,” Tillis-White said. “Don’t let anything hold you back. Try your hardest and believe in yourself.”