For the past 30 years, Laura Frost has been an educator in the Fort Worth Independent School District. All of those years have been spent at Western Hills High School teaching some form of science.
Frost was recently named a top five Texas finalist for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science.
This year’s awards recognize seventh through 12th-grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom.
Winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000, a citation signed by the President of the United States and a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C. She will also be recognized by the State Board of Education for being a Texas finalist.
Frost was unknowingly nominated by one of her colleagues whom she worked with for many years.
She took interest in science after taking an anatomy class as a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. Frost is an interactive teacher, allowing students to lead themselves through each assignment with her help along the way.
Her students said initially they were afraid to learn biology but that she makes learning so much easier with her teaching style.
“She makes it fun by letting us do things kind of independently and on our own time but also helping us whenever we need it,” senior Kristen Tetzlaff said. “Not just making us sit down with a book all the time.”
Her colleagues also said she is always very welcoming to helping others grow in the science field, as well as standing in as a mentor to those who are less experienced.
“As a teacher, she’s so understanding and patient,” colleague Shelby Grissett said. “She’s not one of those people that get easily frustrated.”
Grissett is a former student of Frost’s when she was in high school, now she works side-by-side with her. Grissett said whether a teacher or colleague, Frost hasn’t changed.
Frost is known around campus as the “school mom” or “go-to teacher” because she has been there for so long. Students said that she not only makes sure they are learning but also cares about their wellbeing.
“She checks on us and if we miss class she always gets on us,” senior Arianna Martinez said. “She does keep us on track with all of our other classes too.”
Frost said she does not expect to win but making it to the top five is enough recognition.
“Getting picked as number one is just the icing on the cake,” Frost said.
She said that if she happens to win the award she would just be grateful that others thought that highly of her work.