Social studies teacher wins teaching award


Reese Gallagher

Lauren Goepfert, social studies teacher, poses with award for excellence in teaching. The James Madison Scholarship award entitled Goepfert a scholarship to get her masters. “I enjoy sharing what I love with my students and hoping they learn from it to change our future. Teaching history is a story about real people in extraordinary situations,” Goepfert said.

Pacing the classroom with excitement and alertness, Lauren Goepfert, eighth grade social studies teacher, digs into another lesson. Goepfert won the James Madison Scholarship award for outstanding teaching.

“As the honor of being a recipient of this prestigious fellowship sank in, I realized it was not only a validation of my classroom skills, it was also a validation of my career choice.  Without question, the true award of teaching is given to me by my students,” Goepfert said.

The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation offered one award per state per year. The award entitled the winning fellowship a $24,000 scholarship to get a masters in a choice of several history options along with government and political science according to

“I feel Ms. Goepfert 100 percent deserves this award because she is committed to her job and helps us comprehend the lessons. She gets us through the material in fun ways,” Natalia Forzani, eighth grade dance major, said.

In Goepfert’s class, students undertook various activities such as games and songs. Another activity students attended was “guest speakers whether in person or through skype to talk to my students,” Goepfert said.

“Besides typical primary sources and reading activities, I like to bring in a lot to my classroom. I use different educational trunks from different periods to help my students connect with the content. In September, I had a DAR trunk come in with games colonial students would play,” Goepfert said.

Goepfert has been at Bak for four years. She coaches softball, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, and track and field. Goepfert studied education history at St. Joseph’s College and received her masters in coaching at Stony Brook University.

“I am amazed by what my teacher has done, not only winning this award but participating in other history clubs, coaching sports and more,” Veronika Rudaya, eighth grade visual major, said. “Ms. Goepfert has inspired me to be more interested and learn about the history of America and our own families’ past.”