Mrs. Lavallee grew up in Acushnet. She attended Westfield State University in Western Massachusetts, where she earned degrees in English and Communication. In 2012, she moved to Austin, TX to earn her Masters of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing from the University of Texas. While in Austin, Mrs. Lavallee worked as a teaching assistant for introductory literature courses and also volunteered to teach creative writing in the community. After graduation, Mrs. Lavallee taught reading and language arts to a wonderful group of Austin scholars. She has returned to Massachusetts to continue teaching closer to home.
Why did you choose the Alma team?
I chose to become a part of the Alma team because upon visiting I was so impressed by Alma’s mission and culture and the way they are brought to life in each classroom. This is a very special community of teachers and scholars dedicated to giving their best every day, and I am excited to be a part of that!
What do you hope to contribute to Alma?
I hope to contribute positivity and optimism, and to share my love of reading and writing with my students.
What is your top goal during your first year with Alma?
I have several top goals – first, to help scholars succeed; second, to assist my team in any way possible; and third, to learn as much as I can from the talented teachers around me.
What teacher made a difference in your life, and how?
My high school English teacher made a difference in my life when she told me that my writing had an interesting voice and that I should try to further develop my writing skills. She gave me confidence to pursue my creative goals.
Why did you become involved in education?
I grew up in a family of teachers, but I did not begin my own teaching journey until I arrived at the University of Texas and began working as a teaching assistant for introductory literature courses. I loved the creativity of teaching, and enjoyed coming up with fun, creative activities to help my students grasp the material. In my last semester, I taught a community writing course, and knew at that point that teaching was the profession for me. I am grateful that every day I get to help others and give back to my community.
Where did you go to college? What did you like about your college?
I went to college in two places – Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts, and the University of Texas at Austin. The thing I enjoyed most about my time in both places was the sense that I could learn anything – whether that meant taking a class in an unfamiliar subject, browsing through books at the library, or meeting someone from whom I could learn something new.
What is your favorite piece of art?
My favorite piece of art is a painting called Homesickness by Rene Magritte. I am drawn to this painting time and time again because I feel that it encapsulates a feeling more thoroughly than words ever could.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is absolutely pizza!