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Enriching students’ lives a “dream come true”

By : Rachel Coker

When Laura Lamash arrived at Binghamton University as an undergraduate transfer student in 1980, she didn’t have a career goal in mind. Over time, and thanks in part to a stint as a bus driver, the New York City native fell in love with teaching.

She went on to earn a master’s in English literature and another in secondary education from Binghamton as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in school administration from the State University College at Cortland.

When Lamash, a Couper Fellow, graduates this week with her doctorate in educational theory and practice, it will mark at least a temporary conclusion to her 27 years as a “perpetual student.”

Lamash, who taught at the Susquehanna School and in the Binghamton City School District, now serves as enrichment coordinator and teacher for the Binghamton district’s Challenge Program. The program, which she runs with a team of four other teachers, offers enrichment activities for all children in kinder-garten through eighth grade.

Lamash says her work is a dream come true, a chance to bring her commitment to her community and to public education alive on a daily basis. “To me, that’s the foundation of democracy—effective pubic schools,” she said. “I love my work. I just love what I do.”

Her dissertation focuses on 250 years of history at Binghamton High School, though her study of the school really offers a way to understand the develop-ment of the region as a whole.

Larry Stedman, associate professor in the School of Education, said Lamash’s dissertation is among the best he has ever read. “Her thesis on the history of the Binghamton High School is a brilliant blend of histor-ical analysis, case study research and spatial theorizing,” he said. “She has written a compelling account of the school’s historical development and analyzed well the lived experience of teachers and school staff.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08