Lauren Coffey’s final goodbye to Westford Academy


Lisa Hood

Lauren Coffey enjoying the Cape beach with her dog Sawyer.

Kate Kelly, Staff Writer

After nearly 14 years of teaching, WA Health and Physical Education teacher Lauren Coffey steps down from her position at Westford Academy to get one step closer to retirement. While she is gone, students and staff alike remember the impact she made in the school.

Coffey was a devoted teacher at WA, conducting a variety of fundamental classes. However, when a teaching opportunity arose near Cape Cod, alongside her retiring parents and significant other, she made the hard decision of accepting the job. Leaving her position officially in late January, these changes hold her dream of retiring by the beach close to heart.

Since starting her career in Healthcare Electronics and Pharmaceutical sales, Coffey has done it all. Between instructing ski classes at Nashoba to working as a Math Resource Facilitator at Crisafulli, she was committed to achieving whatever she set her mind to.

“I enjoyed my interactions with students so much, I started substitute teaching,” Coffey said. “I studied and passed the Health and PE MTELs and was a long term Health substitute at the Stony Brook Middle School before being hired permanently at WA.”

Coffey started by working part-time, eventually progressing to a completed Masters degree in education, along with 30 additional graduate credits in her work with Anti-Discrimination and Social Emotional Learning.

Although she didn’t just live in the community of WA, she thrived in it. The Equestrian Club, Relay for Life Club, and even the Bollywood Dance Club were all grateful recipients of her participation. She also worked closely with health teacher, Melanie Jozokos.

“Ms. Coffey was a go getter from the start,” Jozokos said. “I admired her for her work ethic and her constant commitment to the classroom and curriculum.”

Not only was she active outside of the classroom, but Coffey was a strong supporter of her students. She left her room accessible to other extracurriculars like Chess Club, kept in contact with struggling individuals, and used her classroom as an outlet for more than just education.

“I would not be the person I am today without listening to and understanding my students’ experiences,” Coffey said. “As educators we are privileged to learn and grow from our student interactions.”

Both kids in and out of her class saw her purposeful attitude and determined state of mind. Her work ethic was centered around resilience and life skills that stayed with graduates long after their four years of high school. Sophomore Violette Bernier was one of many students close with Coffey.

“If you needed help with anything, she was the one,” Bernier said. “I’m excited to see where her next adventure takes her.”

In addition to helping students with their lives, Coffey started her own battle when she was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. Despite the hardship, she didn’t let it control her life. Her ‘go getter’ personality led her to become even stronger, beating cancer and sharing her story with others.

“You [the WA community] are all unique and worthy of adding value to the world,” Coffey said. “I believe in each and every one of you.”

While this is a hard goodbye for many people, it is in good conscience knowing Coffey is fulfilling her childhood dreams living with her dog Sawyer and the comfort of the ocean. Her position will now be filled by Cory Brown.

“This place is really going to miss her. [Ms. Coffey] leaving is a huge loss to WA and it’s going to leave a hole for many people,” Jozokos said. “I know there are students out there who were close to her, I want them to  know that there are people here that still care about them.”