Excellent Educators is a WAVY-TV 10 initiative to celebrate local teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and communities during the last academic year. These Excellent Educators were nominated by their school divisions. Congratulations to these educators for all of their hard work and accomplishments!

Name: Lauren Garbacz

Division: Accomack County Public Schools

Position: EL teacher at Arcadia High School

What the school division said about this Excellent Educator: Lauren Garbacz has been teaching at Arcadia High School since 2007 and is a valued asset to our students, their families, and our community. Garbacz has prioritized building meaningful relationships with her students, who are often have a high risk of dropping out, in order to provide them with the support they need to graduate.

Garbacz started as an art teacher here at Arcadia High School, but later transitioned into an EL teacher, working with our EL students. In her time at Arcadia High School, she has tirelessly committed herself to building relationships and providing much needed support to a population of students who might not have traditional support in their home lives, all while having a smile on her face and a pragmatic vision of doing everything she can to help her students.

Garbacz is constantly creating not only content to better her students’ English acquisition, but also for their content classes so that they are able to successfully complete their courses. She will create entire curriculums based on what her students are doing in their classes and apply every ESL practice she has learned. She has created notebooks for every unit taught to her students and works tirelessly with her students in order to get them to pass their classes, SOLs, and graduate on-time. Last year, Garbacz even learned to weld so she could help one of her students who was enrolled in our Welding Program.

It is not uncommon to see Garbacz at afternoon soccer games after school to watch her students play sports, understanding how important it is to show support outside of school.

It is hard to find a teacher more dedicated to her students, and it shows. Students rarely want to leave her class when it ends, and will often stop by throughout the day to talk to her, touch bases, and share what is going on in their lives. After students graduate, Garbacz will continue to help them in their “adult” life with college, jobs, taxes, immigration, etc.

Garbacz epitomizes what it means to be an educator, doing what is in the best interest of her students, and serving others without expectation of anything in return. She is gift to her students and one of the many reasons why it is always a great day to be a Firebird!