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Middlesex Middle School Teacher Joan Lauten to Retire

Joan Lauten, World Language teacher and 7th grade Purple Team Leader at Middlesex Middle School, is retiring after 37 years.

Before joining Middlesex Middle School in 1977, Lauten was a teaching assistant of French at the Ohio State University for two years while getting her MA in French language and literature, and a high school French teacher for one year in the Buffalo, NY area.  Lauten later earned a second certification while working at MMS to teach Spanish.

Lauten credits her older sister, who was a Spanish teacher, as her inspiration to become a world language teacher saying she “Convinced me it was a lot more fun than being a math major, which was what I was considering.”   

Lauten also loved her high school language classes and was “intrigued by the travel possibilities, especially spending a semester abroad.  My semester in Caen, France, really introduced me to the excitement of travel and experiencing other cultures.” 

Lauten shared her love for travel by organizing five memorable student trips to Paris during her “early years” at Middlesex.  

Just as memorable, Lauten admits, is that “Some of the students who went on those trips have been parents of students I had in my "later years" at Middlesex. That was a milestone, when I taught the first child of a former student.”

In addition to being a World Language teacher, Lauten says she has “especially enjoyed being a team leader of the 7th grade Purple Team for the past twelve years” and that she has been “fortunate to work for three renowned administrators, Art Bleemer, Phil Nelson and Debi Boccanfuso.”   

Lauten adds that “Although it sounds like a cliche, Middlesex truly is like a family.  The staff and the students have made it a wonderful 37 years.”

Middlesex principal Dr. Debi Bocanfusso says she will certainly miss having Lauten be a part of the Middlesex family, “Joan is just a dream of a teacher, a fabulous woman, and a good friend! I will miss her. My upcoming 29th year will be different without her here. “

After her retirement at the end of this school year, Lauten says that she and her husband Steve, who met while teaching together at Middlesex, are looking forward to enjoying lots of traveling together, “without having to consult the school calendar,” including a trip to Costa Rica planned for next winter. 

Photo Caption:  Joan Lauten with a group of her students from the 7th Grade Purple Team (from left)  Back  row: Asa Briffault, Jon-Luc Robbins, Shaynna Yarrow, Tyler Barlow  Middle row: Jenna Funkey, Justin Mossa, Biatris Gazaryan, Jack Gabriel  Front row: Emily Grandon, Lauren Hauben, Libby Branca, Sarah Murphy, Christian Bailey

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