Since childhood, Laura Brugere has been close with teaching.
“I was one of the older kids in the neighborhood, [and with] access to my mom’s school supplies, we would go ahead and play in the garage. And I would just go ahead and play pretend. And it was pretend school.” recalls Brugere.
But the moment that Brugere truly decided to become an art teacher was not in her home– instead, it was with her own high school ceramics teacher.
“I found a teacher that really treated me as a professional, and the collaborative process there between teacher and student really made me think about teaching.” Brugere recounts. “I was inspiring her. And then she was inspiring me. And I was also teaching her and she was teaching me. I realized that partnership right there: there’s nothing like it.”
Now, as a teacher herself, she is giving her students that support that she was once given. “I have always believed that the whole entire school is like my refrigerator door.” said Brugere. Her aim to help spotlight students’ work has brought her to use several ways of presentation, including using QR codes to let the student artist to auditorily present their art themselves.
“A lot of times we see a piece of art on a wall, but we don’t really connect with the person behind the piece of art.” Brugere explains. “So I’m really working on trying to connect the viewer to the person and really trying to, I guess, humanize the art.”
This year, Brugere will be teaching sculpture, Drawing and Painting I, and co-teaching Industrial Engineering and Design. Her love for art is evident– beyond spending time with her son and daughter, hiking, and running, she still has a passion for creating in her free time. “I love doing art. Like, I feel like that’s almost cliche for me to say … but I do enjoy doing a lot of my own art.”
As a 3D artist, Brugere incorporates found objects in many of her pieces, alongside creating ceramics and textural pieces. Often, she is inspired by nature and the reflective process of creating, and she shares this joy with her students. Previously, Brugere has taken students on trips to places like pumpkin patches, sculpture parks, and on scavenger hunts.
“I think that one of the best memories I have with students is giving them outside experiences. Showing them that art isn’t always just on a wall in an art gallery– it’s all around us everywhere.” said Brugere.
Brugere attended Webster University and received a BA in Art Education and a BFA in Sculpture. Prior to coming to CHS, Brugere did her pre-service teaching at Meramac Elementary School. She is currently in her fourteenth year of teaching having worked at Lift for Life Academy for nine years and at Mehlville High School, her Alma Mater, for five years.
Even through hard times like the pandemic and schedule changes, and inevitable future challenges, Laura Brugere is still working hard and looking forward to this school year.
“Educators don’t always have the answers, [but] learning is a part of the beauty of what we do. We learn and we are pushed, and we grow with our students just as much as our students do with us.”