St. Agnes Academy Teacher Spotlight on Ms. Bookout
When walking into Ms. Laurie Bookout’s classroom at the end of the second floor hallway, it is hard to know right away that she is a math teacher. Beautiful paintings, full of vibrant colors and designs fill the walls around the blackboard. There are pictures of flowers and the beach, of gorgeous scenes in nature, all painted by her at various times of her career. As you look closer, you begin to see worked out equations in different shades of expo-marker detailing the easiest ways to work out problems. Art is everywhere, even in equations.
What class do you teach at SAA?
I teach Honors Precalculus, Calculus AB, and some geometry classes.
Where are your paintings from? How did you get to be so interested in art?
Before Covid, I did paint by number at pop up art shops across Houston. A teacher would teach the same scene, but the awesome thing is, at the end, everyone’s artwork turned out to be completely different! Every month, I would go with all of the SAA math teachers, and it was always such a fun part of my schedule.
Which of these is your favorite picture?
The beach or the balcony picture which is staged in Italy.
What made you want to come be a teacher at SAA?
This is actually a really interesting story. So, I didn’t actually go to college as a math teacher. I started as a computer science major at UNT and then transferred to A&M so I could stay closer to home. When I transferred though, none of my credits transferred along with me!
I took computer science and calculus again and was going to take another prerequisite, but the dean wouldn’t let me unless I postponed my graduation.
Later that same day, I was talking to my Mom, and she reiterated something she had been telling me for most of my life. She said she thought that I always had a calling to be a teacher, so why not start now? My mom worked as a teacher, and I always loved to teach my siblings how to do different math concepts when I was younger. So, why not?
What made you come to SAA to teach?
I was about to accept a job at a local middle school, where I could dual teach earth science and math. At the time, my mom was a counselor at SAA and taught accounting and bookkeeping-- she started the whole department. There was a job opening as one of the teachers was leaving, and she encouraged me to just try and go for it!
I remember when I first came, Sister Jane made me “audition” for the job. Instead of just sitting down for an interview, I came into the class and taught a mock lesson! The rest is history.
Thank you so much for this interview! Is there anything else that you would like to add?
My mom is such a big mentor in my life, and I am so thankful for her. She is my inspiration for so many things. She will be 86 in January, and she is still always learning and figuring things out on her own. I definitely got my love of learning from her!
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