Focus on Leadership

"I am still learning (Michaelangelo)."
Lauren Pipp
Credential/MAT Alumna

"I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well" (Alexander the Great).

In 1997 Lauren (Bragg) Pipp moved from the quaint ski town of Tahoe City, California to Irvine to attend UCI. In 2001 she earned her undergraduate degrees in Spanish-Teaching Language and Culture and Philosophy. She then took a year off to explore, work, and coach girls volleyball. While exploring the corporate world, she discovered what she had known all along: Teaching and interacting with young people was her passion.

In 2002 she entered UC Irvine’s Master of Arts in Teaching and multiple subject credential programs and graduated 18 months later in 2003.

The program provided rigorous training for being a successful teacher as well as the program cohorts introduced me to some of my best friends and other teacher leaders in Orange County, including the current UCI Multiple-Subject Coordinator, Christina Giguiere.

For the past eight years, Lauren has been teaching 6th grade at Bonita Canyon Elementary School in the Irvine Unified School District.

Bonita Canyon has been more than a blessing for me. First, it was my final placement for student teaching; and when my Mentor Teacher changed grade levels, a position in 6th grade opened up just days before the completion of student teaching. Second, it is the elementary school that my husband attended and I am honored to teach with the educators that taught my husband. Finally, Bonita Canyon and Irvine Unified School District(IUSD) have provided numerous leadership opportunities for me to grow and lead.

Lauren currently serves as a negotiator on the Irvine Teacher Association Bargaining Team, which has proven to be a rewarding experience because she helps represent the interests and needs of both student and teacher. In 2009, she was her site representative for Teacher of the Year. She has served her fellow teachers on textbook adoption committees, taught a year long professional development class on writing in the upper grades (with her friends Kelly Rafter and Jeanie Fritzche), and been supporting beginning teachers in BTSA as a Lead Support Provider and Support Provider for the last five years.

Lauren continues to support the UCI teacher education program by serving as a Mentor Teacher for students enrolled in UCI’s credential program (Erin Zelenski in the spring of 2007 and Alyson Berger in the spring of 2008).

Lauren became a fellow of the UC Irvine Writing Project in 2005 and each month attends Writing Project II, a professional learning community for fellows that tackles current literacy issues across all grade levels. For the last three years she has been one of the Associate Directors of the UC Irvine Writing Project Summer Institute under the inspirational guidance of its director, Dr. Carol Booth Olson and Assistant Director Catherine D’Aoust.

Lauren considers critical thinking and learning the most important skills for the future. She believes that technology and our world is changing on daily basis and “we need to prepare ourselves and our children for the challenges that will arise.” Each day she takes this philosophy into her classroom by using innovative lessons that connect the real world to the classroom. She sets high expectations for her students, both behaviorally and academically, then she supports each child in reaching his or her goals. Lauren expects her students to work hard, think critically, and try. Above all else she shows her students the “human element."

We are all humans living on this earth, we make mistakes, laugh, and cry, and sometimes we just need to take a moment, however brief, and know each day is a fresh-start, a new beginning and a chance to grow and learn.