Mrs. Lafrance Feature

Mrs. Lafrance is a very talented, outgoing, and hardworking teacher at Ipswich High School. She has been teaching at IHS for fifteen years since September of 2006. She strives for her students to do well in and out of school while learning deeply into the eyes of the environment. 

Growing up Mrs. Lafrance loved nature. She grew on going on walks in the woods with her mother and brother. She said, “This made me associate nature with the joy of exploration and feelings of happiness.” This sparked her interest in the environment. In Mrs. Lafrance’s earlier years, she wasn’t thinking of becoming a teacher. At first she was a skating coach with a degree in biology, and she loved the aspect of her coaching job, but she also had a lot of time taken away from her that she could have wished she spent time with her family. She said, “When my oldest daughter was in first grade, I volunteered in her “outdoor classroom” at Doyon. Being outside with the kids made me realize how much I love showing people how amazing nature is.” This made her realize that she wanted to change her job and become more involved with being an environmental teacher. 

Mrs. Lafrance has many goals that she wants to share throughout the world to help the environment. One thing she wants people to think about is climate change. Climate change is a major problem in our world and it is only going to continue to get worse unless we step in. She says, “Climate change is already increasing severe weather events and putting pressure on individuals and countries in negative ways. We must stop using fossil fuels in order to slow the changing climate before these events are out of our control.” Not only does she hope for people to come together for climate change, she believes that there is a way to save our world from global warming. Lafrance states that “we have the technology to make our future more stable. In the US and internationally, we need to stop arguing and start making positive changes.” And that is something that she would love to see in the future. 

Not only does Mrs. Lafrance wants to change the environment globally, but she also wants to change the environment at Ipswich High School. One main problem at IHS is the amount of trash left in our parking lots. We have many volunteers to clean it up, but Mrs. Lafrance says, “educating people and making the proper bins available are a good start.” IHS does their best to be as environmentally friendly as possible. We have waste pins for trash, recycling, and compost. At lunch, the cafeteria serves food in compositible containers. When comparing our school to other schools she says, “I think we do a lot more than most schools. WIth that said, there are improvements that can always be made. For example, I wish more students put their lunch waste in the correct bin.” For students that wish to get more involved Mrs. Lafrance runs the environmental club and green team at IHS. She also recommends the Honors Sustainability class. She says, “Our honors sustainability class has made huge contributions to the town and school that are easily recognized such as the new electric vehicle charger that will be installed this spring. However, I have had students take CP2 environmental and go on to have careers in environmental science that have made huge impacts. I like to think that maybe the collective changes that each student has made by the end of the year, regardless of the class they took, has the biggest impact of all.” 

Mrs. Lafrance is a huge part of IHS. To award her for everything she has worked on in and for being such an influential teacher, she has been given the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. She is using the money from this award to get an electric vehicle charging station in the school’s parking lot. She continues to enhance students’ education on these issues while making improvements in our school. She is unstoppable.