Ms. Laura Zabel has been teaching math at Hastings High School for three decades. In addition to supporting her math students, she serves as chair of the Math Department. Even though she initially …
Ms. Laura Zabel has been teaching math at Hastings High School for three decades. In addition to supporting her math students, she serves as chair of the Math Department. Even though she initially considered going into aerospace engineering – her path changed to all things math, and our kids are the benefactors of that decision!
Laura finished both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in math education at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She was a proud marching band member as well!
“I’m a people person,” Zabel said. “I realized early in my college career, that rather than be an engineer myself, I have a big passion for helping others become engineers, or whatever other path they might pursue.”
It takes more than just being a people person to be a good teacher. Laura embodies many skills that not only help our students learn math, but also support their entire high school experience.
“The best thing about being a teacher is building positive relationships with students, helping them realize their potential, overcome challenges, and build their confidence,” she said. “I teach mathematics, but sometimes the most impactful part of my role as an educator is helping my students grow, believe in their capabilities, find balance, overcome challenges, build life skills and pursue their dreams.”
She hopes that parents and guardians know that she will be their student’s biggest supporter.
“My students are ‘my kids,’ and I want the very best for them. I will support them, encourage them, have high expectations for them, and I will also have the good mom things like snacks, Kleenex, lotion, band-aids, and hugs,” Zabel said. “There really is no better feeling for a teacher than to see students thrive.”
Laura grew up in Maplewood, but got her first teaching job out of college here at ISD200. Her husband soon landed a Chemistry teaching position here as well, and they moved here in 2005. They have two daughters, who proudly attended Hastings K-12.
“I am so thankful for all the amazing teachers, coaches, advisors and amazing opportunities my kids had here, both in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities,” Zabel said.
“Hastings Public Schools are a big part of our lives,” she said. “My daughter followed her parents’ footsteps, and is a teacher in ISD200, teaching 2nd grade at McAuliffe Elementary. My son-in-law teaches social studies at HHS.”
In addition to being an active member at St. Philips Lutheran Church, Ms. Zabel is grateful to be Grandma to four amazing grandkids. She feels fortunate to have them so close here in Hastings, and to be a big part of their lives.
She loves to travel, cross stitch, read and go for bike rides. When the weather is great, you may find her and her husband enjoying a ride in their restored 1970 Ford Mustang. Couch time includes binge watching House Hunters or the Great British Baking Show.
To say that Laura and her family are true champions of ISD200 is an understatement. They have dedicated their careers to Hastings Public Schools, and the next generation is following in their steps. It’s the dedication of great educators like these that make us #200Strong.