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Empowering Unique Learners
Retiring teacher says Miriam changed her perspective on teaching
Katie Stalter

Miriam High School teacher Lori Lipkind already retired once - after a long career of teaching in public schools. She wasn’t finished working with students, though, so she came to Miriam four years ago.

“Joining the Miriam staff changed my entire perspective on teaching and learning,” Lipkind said during her address at Graduation this year. 

“As a former public school teacher, I rarely had the opportunity to teach students for more than just one year. It has been such an amazing experience to have so many of these seniors for multiple years, and some even for all four years!”

Lipkind said that her biggest thrill is when a student gives her a new perspective on something she has read or taught many times. She enjoys the new way of looking at something, and she said the Miriam high school students have done this often.

“In these past four years, you’ve been my teacher. Here are some important life lessons that I - and I believe all of us - have learned from the 2024 graduating class of Miriam High School.”

From Drake: 
An enthusiastic and positive attitude makes a person’s corner of the world a better place.

From Nick: 
Friendship creates a light inside us that shines from within.

From Jack: 
Always treat others with kindness and compassion because you never know what burden someone is carrying.

From Abby: 
A person’s artwork is deeply personal, and if they show it to you, you should feel honored because it’s like they shared an important part of themselves with you.

From Brett: 
The scariest things in life don’t have to be feared at all if you learn about them and then face them with all you’ve got.

From Adele: 
Helping other people can bring out the best in us.

From Daniel: 
The more you learn, the more you can be inspired to create new things. Infinite new worlds are within us all!
And also from Daniel: 
Videogames ARE an important part of our culture, blending history, mythology, with imagination and art; and they deserve our respect & preservation.

From Jonny: 
Consistently treating others with kindness and respect makes a person stand proud and tall.

From Liam: 
Actions speak louder than words. Try to pay close attention to people’s actions; they will lead you to who they really are.

From Sarah: 
When the art of conversation comes naturally and easily to a person, that person will attract people to them like a magnet!

From Jackson: 
When you’re willing to completely immerse yourself in an activity, even when it’s something new and unknown, you often find that you are talented in so many different things!

From Patrick: 
The ability to analyze a situation deeply and meaningfully leads to knowledge of the world and most importantly: knowledge of oneself.

From Grace: 
Sometimes people reveal their very best selves when they are teaching others.

From Alex: 
Being able to see the absurdity in human existence leads to a unique life where the joy lies in the journey rather than merely the destination.

From Alexa: 
When you have confidence in yourself, you can achieve just about anything. 

From Joe: 
A level head and calm attitude always inspires respect and admiration from others.

From Dakota: 
Perseverance and a can-do attitude are essential qualities in sports and in life and guarantee happiness and belonging.

From Cohen: 
The joy of life is in the details and in the sharing of what makes life hilarious.

From Tyler: 
The smallest and most vulnerable of creatures deserve our gentlest care and devotion. Those who treat animals with such respect show true integrity. 

From Henry: 
Everything has its own language that can be understood, if you pay close enough attention.

From Naryha: 
Learning to value yourself makes a person truly beautiful. 

Lipkind said, “If the entire world could learn these lessons, then the world would be a much better place.”
Lipkind joined the Miriam team in 2020, after 23 years in the Parkway School District. Her other experiences have been in the Hazelwood and University City school districts and in educational publishing. At Miriam, she taught courses in history, literature and more.

Lipkind’s passion is project-based, hands-on learning, as well as infusing literacy into the history curriculum.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Kansas and her master’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and holds Missouri certifications in English and social studies.

Lipkind said she will miss the Miriam community, but she will be available to substitute next year. “I don’t want to lose touch with our wonderful students.” 


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