Tahlequah Daily Press

October 15, 2013

Galvin makes math make sense at Briggs

By RENEE FITE
Special Writer

BRIGGS — One of the scariest courses in school, for many people, is mathematics.

If a person thinks math is hard, it’s often because a good teacher never helped the student achieve a basic understanding of the subject. Without a foundation to build on for more advanced classes, students may feel stupid or give up thinking math can be done, let alone fun.

Briggs Elementary School teacher Lora Galvin enjoys showing kids that math is easy and is part of everything in life – from art to games and design to engineering.

“I have always taught math – general math through AP calculus. I include projects to keep kids excited about math and change their perception of math. Math is neither boring nor hard,” she said.

Galvin was named Teacher of the Year her first term at Briggs.

“I was very excited and flattered that the staff and administration was so pleased with my teaching,” she said.

Now in her second year at Briggs, Galvin teaches sixth- through eighth-math.

She helped starts the Robotics Club at Briggs last year, and is co-sponsor.

“It was a great success,” she said. “We had one team last year, and we have three robots this year competing.”

Coaching youth first attracted her to the teaching field.

“I became a teacher because I wanted to work with kids and coach. I spent 12 years coaching softball,” she said.

Galvin is a graduate of the University of Georgia, with a bachelor of science degree, and earned a master’s degree in mathematics at Emory University in Atlanta. She taught high school math for 20 years in Georgia.

This experienced teacher encourages those new to the field to give it time.

“My advice for new teachers is to give it some time,” she said.

“It’s very hard at first, and you wonder if you are cut out for it. But if you give it three years, you will be hooked. It’s a hard but rewarding career.”

Galvin is a mother of two, and her sons are currently in college. Brendon is a senior at the University of Wyoming, majoring in history, and is in the Army ROTC. Kyle is a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, majoring in electrical engineering.

During her free time, she enjoys golfing and team roping.

“I love horses. My horse is named Buck,” Galvin said.

Travel is another favorite activity.

“I have traveled all over this country and seen many places, but Tahlequah is a great place where people are genuinely friendly. My favorite place in the world is Jackson, Wyo.,” she said.