Chapter 1: Lauren Holesapple
New ASL teacher Lauren Holesapple has been teaching high school students in Loudoun county for 20 years. Inspired to teach and spread ASL at a very young age herself.
“There was a deaf girl in my fifth grade reading class, and I watched her interpreter. And I learned it easily,” Holesapple said. “Then, I was a senior in high school, and I had to figure out what I wanted to do. So I researched where I could learn more sign language.”
Prior to Loudoun Valley, Holesapple taught at Freedom High School. The change in environment has brought joy to not only her professional life, but her personal life as well.
“It’s (Loudoun Valley environment) is super friendly. I’m excited to be back with Senora Bolden and Frau,” Holesapple said. “We worked together for many years at different schools. And the department has been super welcoming.”
Being around her daughter and centering her life around a set community has really been a positive change in Holesapple’s life.
“My number one reason is I get to be with Anna. It’s so fun. It’s kind of a treat to have that,” Holesapple said. “I drive six minutes instead of 35. And I can get to the gym right after school. I just feel like I have more time in my life back because now my life is more central to being here.”
An interesting experience Holesapple has had is being able to witness the growth of kids she’s known since they were little at LVHS.
“It can be funny having kids that I’ve known since they were in kindergarten, and then they’re in my class. So that’s a dynamic I’ve never had before. But it’s cool,” Holesapple said.
Holesapple feels at home at LVHS.
“I feel like I belong here, which is really nice.”
Into the school year, Holesapple hopes that mental health isn’t neglected just because everyone is back together in the building.
“One of the most important things for me as a teacher is that my students feel supported, both in and outside the classroom. To me, there’s nothing more important than mental wellness. And so I like to start there. And I think it’s been ridiculously challenging with COVID. So I don’t want us to lose sight of that, just because we’re back,” Holesapple said. “I think we’re going to face challenges moving forward, because cases are on the rise. But my hope is that we can stay healthy and as a community continue to take care of each other…I want us to be together.”