By Shirley Stirling
Laura Chase, a second through fifth grade teacher at Sunrise Beach School in Olympia, recently won the annual Helen Pouch Memorial Fund Classroom Grant from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) for the upcoming school year.
Two recipients from each state plus the District of Columbia were announced July 3, 2022 at 131st DAR’s Annual Continental Congress, in Washington, DC. Sponsored locally by the Sacajawea DAR Chapter of Olympia, this one-time $500 grant helps teachers in public and private schools organize special classroom activities within DAR’s goals of education, historic preservation, and patriotism.
Described by principal Roxanne Cox as “a truly amazing teacher, wife and mother”, Laura has been married to Bill Chase for 35 years. She received her teaching certification from WA State 32 years ago and began a teaching career at Seattle Christian School, with 4e graders. “Laura used her excellent skills to successfully homeschool their seven children for 29 years,” according to Cox.
Most recently, Chase worked at Northwest Christian High School in Lacey and then, in 2021-22, joined the staff at Sunrise Beach School and Sunrise High School in Olympia. When asked to comment, Principal Roxanne Cox said: ‘The students, staff and administration are so grateful to have such a competent, intelligent and loving teacher on staff.’
Historic trek this fall
This fall, Ms. Chase will teach American history immediately after the Revolutionary War, covering the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the Oregon Trail. With the scholarship, she will embark on a historic journey with her 3rd at 5e elementary school students, visiting Cape Disappointment in Washington State and then Fort Clatsop in Oregon as they explore the Lewis and Clark Trail. Each site she has chosen offers special experiences suitable for children.
Ms. Chase loves early American history and the colonial era. Earlier this year, she worked with the Sacajawea DAR Chapter and John Rogers Clark Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), on interactive colonial skills and topics. This program created locally, colonial life, offers students a hands-on glimpse into the past, with the following DAR/SAR coaches: Bev York, Art Dolan, Franida and Lew Maudsley, Judi Hine, This Writer, and others. With these adult volunteers, his students explored spinning, weaving, churning butter, colonial clothing, quill pen writing, colonial toys, and more.
About the Daughters of the American Revolution
The Sacajawea Chapter of DAR has operated in the greater Olympia area since 1905, as a service, lineage and patriotic organization. Sacajawea Chapter Regent Mary Blake can be reached at [email protected]
About Sunrise Beach School
Sunrise Beach School / Sunrise Beach High School is a private K-12 Christian school located at 1601 North Street SE in Olympia. Contact Principal Roxanne Cox at [email protected]