The student news site of Cypress Woods High School

The Crimson Connection

The student news site of Cypress Woods High School

The Crimson Connection

The student news site of Cypress Woods High School

The Crimson Connection

Teacher of the year: Mama L


It is difficult to imagine the extent how much a teacher can impact hundreds of students. However, at Cypress Woods High School numerous candidates surpass the standard expectations, like the 2024 Cy Woods Teacher of the Year, Eugenia Laskowski. 


Coming into her 26th year of teaching, Laskowski has continued to put in a great deal of effort into her profession, impacting the lives and futures of every student she teaches. Her authentic passion for teaching has been officially recognized, earning herself teacher of the year. Not every teacher is capable of connecting with every student, yet Laskowski manages to engage the brains of her students and personally connect with them at the same time, blowing this expectation out of the water.


Laskowski currently teaches Algebra I and has been teaching for years, however, it can be a surprise to know that education was not her original plan. She attended Sam Houston University intending to graduate with a completely different degree.


 “It wasn’t the original plan, originally I was going to be a marketing major,” Laskowski said. “In college, I worked at the YMCA in Huntsville, and I enjoyed working with the kids. We had a tutoring program in which I took part in and I realized, ‘Hey, I like this better’.”


Growing up, Laskowski was fond of many of her teachers. She took inspiration from them, now incorporating aspects of their teaching into her own.


 “They were personable; They knew me as more than just a student, which I appreciated a lot. I now incorporate relationship building into my own teaching,” Laskowski said. “I try to get to know my kids outside of math. Math is not their life.”


Having a solid work ethic can be difficult to build up to; it is something that should be taken into account for any profession. Many people have poor work ethics, including working adults which can cause their goals to crash and burn, yet Laskowski hits right on the mark when it comes to her efficiency with work.


“My work ethic is a 10 out of 10. I always get things graded on time and give feedback right away. I’m excellent,” Laskowski said. “Learning to balance your time helps a lot. When I was younger it was no big deal, but when you’re married and have kids as a teacher, you have to find that life-work balance. Once you find that you’re golden.”

That being said, no matter how efficient one’s work ethic may be, it is important to regard the inevitabilities of a teacher. For example: students who are not willing to learn. It can be discouraging to teach difficult students, as it can negatively impact the spirit of a teacher. Despite this, Laskowski still manages to motivate and engage even her most difficult students by building a better relationship with them while also making sure they take accountability for their performance in class.


“There’s lots of different things I do. For one, I get to know them outside of class and even school as a whole. I ask them questions like ‘What do you do at home?’, ‘What excites you?’, ‘What makes you happy?’, ‘what can I do to make this easier for you?’, questions like that. There’s accountability too. If they’re not doing well I’m going to move them to the front and push them harder. It sounds weird, but kind of being Mama L towards them helps.”


Every teacher should have priorities that they deeply value, striving to build them up within their students and class. Out of Laskowski’s priorities, she holds heavy importance in building confidence in her math students.


“I want to help them not be afraid of math. Usually, students who take algebra as a freshman weren’t that successful in math, so I want to help them become more confident in their abilities,” Laskowski said. “After I get them more confident, I want to help them move past being afraid of making mistakes; we make a lot of mistakes in math, and we learn from them.”


With all of the difficulties and stresses that come with being a teacher, new teachers must enter the profession with ease and minimal worry. Laskowski has gained lots of experience through her time with being a teacher, and graciously offered her advice to those who are new to the job. 


“It’s important to make time for yourself. Your first few years, you’re still trying to figure everything out that comes with teaching, I even had to have somebody make me leave at five. It’s overwhelming to adapt to,” Laskowski said.


“Having me time is super important or else you will burn out; just like anything. Teachers, musicians, artists, you get told ‘no’ enough times you almost want to quit. Now I think about what’s truly going to make a difference tomorrow. Me time.”

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About the Contributor
Van Chmielewski, Staff Reporter
My name is Van Chmielewski and I’m currently a sophomore. I took Journalism last year and now I’m new to the newspaper staff. I’m also a die hard music lover and I’m in the Cypress Woods Band. Laufey is my favorite musical artist of all time and I love to enthuse about her music.

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