Teacher Tuesday: LAC’s Liz Allard.

August 11, 2020

Teacher Tuesday: LAC’s Liz Allard.

Teacher Tuesday is a presentation of Shelby State Bank, www.shelbystatebank.com.

By Kate Krieger, MCP Staff Writer.

LUDINGTON – Soon to be startying her 23rd year in the classroom, Ludington Area Catholic teacher, Liz Allard has spent her entire teaching career devoted to her students there. The majority of her span at LAC has been teaching fourth grade students, but over the last few years, she has been able to dabble in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the school’s added STEM lab.

“During the past 22 years I have taught fourth graders,” she said. “Specifically, the last two years I have taught fourth grade math, science, social studies and K-8 STEM lab. During the 2020-2021 school year, I will teach a combined fourth and fifth grade. The fourth and fifth graders will have separate English/language arts and math, but they will come together for fifth grade science, social studies, and religion. I will also teach a third through seventh grade STEM lab.”

Growing up in central Michigan, Allard said she remembers always pretending she was a teacher with her younger brother. It wasn’t until well later when she decided to shift gears and make the move towards her teaching degree.

“I graduated from Clare High School in 1981,” she said. I then graduated from Michigan State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in criminalistics. My earliest recollection of teaching was when I would play school with my younger brother, and of course I was the teacher and enjoyed teaching him. When my son was 18-months-old, I volunteered as a high school cross country coach and enjoyed being around kids.”

Waiting until her son was a bit older, Allard then chose to return to college.

“So, when my son was in preschool, I decided to go back to college to get my teaching certificate,” she said. “I admired those people who were teachers and how much they enjoyed teaching and interacting with kids. I also wanted to be the wonderful parental teacher my mother was by teaching me the values and virtues of her Catholic faith.”

Graduating from Grand Valley State University in 1998 with a bachelor’s of science degree in group science and education, she then went onto Mary Grove University in 2004, graduating with a master’s in education.

With a strong Catholic faith, Allard said she loves when she can interact with students and discuss her faith.

“I enjoy being able to share my faith with the students,’ she said. “The major reason I chose LAC 23 years ago is I wanted to be able to teach the students the moral, values, and virtues my parents taught me. Through all subjects I infuse our Catholic faith and prayer. I assign prayer leaders during the school year as well as have students participate in masses as proclaimers, commentators, or altar servers. The students who leave Ludington Area Catholic school continue to participate in the church and other religious education areas.”

Along with her faith, Allard has some wishes for Catholic schools across America.

“If I could change anything about teaching in today’s society it would be that religious schools should be given the same consideration as other schools,” she said. “We are all here to teach the students to make our world a better place to live.”

Whether students are molding their faith, academics or character, Allard loves to see personal growth in every student at LAC.

“My favorite things about teaching are when the students have a sense of accomplishment and the light bulbs go on and they understand the concepts,” she said. “Also, it is rewarding to see my former students grow into wonderful adults and hope I had just a little bit to do with it.”

Getting ready to return to the classroom for the first time since March, Allard is excited and optimistic for a good school yeah at LAC.

“During the coronavirus closing from March 16 to June 9, the first couple weeks were challenging,” she said. “I prepared lessons and emailed them to the parents along with sharing additional materials via Google Classroom. After spring break, the parents, students, and I decided to change the presentations of the materials, so I met with the class for 60-90 minutes each morning via Google Meet to teach and review material. This fall the plan is to go back face to face with the students. Immediately I will instruct the students how to use the new LMS (Learning Management System) called Canvas which will become helpful if we have to return to virtual learning.”

Looking forward to seeing the students in a few weeks, Allard has been working hard by preparing her classroom for the start of her 23rd year at LAC, but she will never forget a certain reason behind how she may have landed her dream job.

“Twenty-three years ago, my mother in law, Vernita Allard, told me she wrote a prayer request and placed it in the basket in St. Simon Adoration Chapel praying for me to become a teacher at Ludington Area Catholic and that prayer came true,” she said. “Her faith in me meant a lot to me. I was meant to be a teacher at Ludington Area Catholic School.”

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