Hicks Elementary Teacher Returns to Her Roots
First-grade teacher works alongside those who influenced her
Sept. 4, 2018 — Every year, dozens of teachers join the Lewisville ISD family. Lauren Lubke is among those educators. She came to LISD from Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD where she spent two years as a kindergarten teacher. What makes Lubke different is her roots. She is an LISD alumna, and someone who spent all 13 years, K-12, in the district.
This school year, Lubke is a first-grade teacher at Hicks Elementary, teaching in the Spanish Immersion program. Lubke actually grew up in the feeder pattern she is teaching in — the Hebron High School feeder pattern. She attended Polser Elementary for K-3, Castle Hills Elementary for the remainder of elementary, Creek Valley Middle School and then spent her high school years at Hebron before graduating and heading off to Oklahoma State University for college.
Not only has Lubke returned to the district she grew up in, but is now working alongside those who influenced her when she was a student. One of those influences is Cheryl Klima, someone Lubke calls her favorite teacher from childhood.
“It is surreal that I am now colleagues with one of my former teachers,” Lubke said. “I look up to Ms. Klima and look forward to working alongside her and learning from her.”
She added, “It still doesn’t feel right to call her Cheryl — she will always be Ms. Klima to me.”
Klima, who was Lubke’s third-grade teacher at Polser and now teaches fourth grade at Hicks, said she fondly remembered teaching Lubke and her older brother George.
“Lauren was a bright, energetic and spunky student,” Klima said. “She worked diligently the moment she came to my room, always putting forth the effort and dedication you see in third graders who are eager to learn.”
When Klima heard Lubke would be joining the Hicks family, she was thrilled.
“As a veteran teacher of LISD, there is no greater joy than seeing one of my students follow my footsteps in joining LISD — the best school district in the State of Texas,” Klima said. “I am incredibly proud and honored to have a former student join me as a fellow educator.”
The connections don’t end with Klima. In fact, Principal Curtis Martin and Assistant Principal Tracy Rehfuss also knew Lubke when she was a student. Martin served as Lubke’s assistant principal at Creek Valley Middle School from 2005-2007, while Rehfuss has known Lubke’s family for 21 years.
“I must have been pretty good (in middle school) because I never made it to Mr. Martin’s office,” Lubke said.
Her assessment was spot on as Martin described Lubke as an unforgettable student.
“She is an all-around superstar!” Martin said about Lubke’s Creek Valley days. “Lauren was both smart and talented. She made great grades, played basketball, and had a very close group of friends. Additionally, she has great parents who are huge supporters of LISD and has two brothers who also graduated from Hebron.”
Rehfuss, whose sons played basketball at Hebron with one of Lubke’s brothers, said having an LISD graduate like Lubke join Hicks adds a welcomed element to the school.
“At Hicks, our tagline is, ‘Our Future Starts Here,’” Rehfuss said. “Lauren is a prime example of one whose future started in an LISD elementary school, and it has now come full circle. This benefits the school and students because there is already a built-in connection, relationship and familiarity.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Klima, a 2016-2017 LISD Elementary Teacher of the Year finalist and 29-year LISD teaching veteran, said, “The benefits of hiring alumni assures that the LISD family is getting teachers who love their students, have a positive attitude and a work ethic that doesn’t quit.”
Lubke’s hiring is particularly special for Klima.
“When a former student returns as a teacher to LISD and is hired at your home campus, you can’t help but feel proud,” she said, “and, for me, it’s truly priceless.”
Like Rehfuss and Klima, Martin believes it is important that the district hire a wide variety of employees, including alumni. He said when building a staff, it is great to find people with different experiences and unique perspectives from living, learning and working in other environments. But, employing staff like Lubke, who know and understand the ins and outs of the community, is also key.
“No one knows exactly what it is really like attending school from K-12 in the Hebron feeder pattern with the exception of teachers like Lauren,” Martin said. “That expertise on our faculty brings a tremendous sense of understanding and pride in our community.”
For Lubke, teaching at Hicks is like coming home.
“I wanted to come back to the district I graduated from,” Lubke said. “And, when I found out that Hicks, where the administration was my former AP from middle school and a great family friend, I knew I wanted to work there and was so honored when they chose to hire me.”
She added, “I respect the core values and fundamentals that LISD encompasses in educating the students in the district. I look forward to helping shape the lives and minds of every student in both of my classes, and I look forward to working as a team with the students and parents to build relationships with and challenge the learning of each student.”
Hicks Elementary is a Frisco, Texas elementary school in the Lewisville Independent School District. Follow Hicks on Facebook and Twitter to see more student experiences throughout the school year or visit LISD.net for more information about our district.