Christie James captures with such flair the style and substance of Luayne Lambert, a fine educator.
“Truffle, a confectionary delicacy, sweet, rich and full of flavor. Truffle Award: an honor bestowed on a deserving student each Friday in Luayne Lambert's fourth-grade class. The fortunate recipients of this award are praised for their helpfulness and kindness. It is a privilege and a treat for me to present the ultimate Truffle Award to Luayne Lambert herself today for her twenty years of dedicated and loving service to children, families, and colleagues at Graland Country Day School.
“Twenty years! Do you know how many students at Graland have received a warm smile and friendly greeting from this kind teacher? This is not just a rhetorical question; it is a mathematical story problem, just like the ones you might have to solve in Mrs. Lambert's class. She has taught math to at least six hundred fifth and sixth graders, wrestled with figures, problems, and mathematical concepts with an equal number of Lower School children and in the past eight years, opened her classroom to one hundred and fifty eager fourth graders. You can use whatever strategy you like, show all your work, and even come up with the right number, but the true answer to what makes Luayne Lambert a master teacher and her twenty years at Graland so special cannot be quantified or calculated.
“One of the qualities that draw us to this wonderful teacher, colleague, and friend is her ability to look for and build up the goodness and uniqueness in everyone she meets. Luayne invites her fellow teachers into her class to share their talents with her students. The children are inspired to be poets, cribbage champions, math whizzes, and insightful historians. It is no accident that she makes us feel like champions also! Young and old, we come away feeling better about ourselves and happy to have spent some time in her presence.
“Luayne helps everyone feel confident and ready to tackle any problem, mathematical or otherwise. It is not uncommon to see her at school late into the afternoon helping a child make connections, giving him/her the strategies. . . (to succeed). For years, I have watched Luayne face her own obstacles. Arthritis causes her to walk with slow, painful steps. She may use the elevator, but she doesn't miss bike hikes or school trips -- she just takes it in stride and keeps smiling. Her personal strength, perseverance, and grace are unspoken lessons that teach us how to address our own struggles.
“ . . . Today, we celebrate you, master teacher. With this Truffle Award, we thank you for your extraordinary kindness and for helping each of us become a better person.”