Laura Rogerson Moore’74


On December 4, 2015, the Alumni Association presented the 13th  Laverack Family Alumni award to Laura Rogerson Moore ’74.

Laura’s Background

In 1970, Laura joined the Applewild community as a sixth grader in the second to last year of Bill Laverack’s tenure as headmaster. Her siblings, Gus, Anita, and Hank, followed in succession over the next five years. A member of Applewild’s class of 1974, Laura went on to graduate from Groton School and Harvard, where she majored in English, determined to spend her career teaching and writing. In the 1982-83 school year, under Bill Marshall and Eleanor Crow’s guidance, she was Applewild’s first teaching intern, working closely with Eleanor, Betty Reheiser, and Mike Mullins, and launching a dance program in the middle school.

At the end of that year, she moved on to Lawrence Academy to teach English, run an upper school girls’ Persis Laverack with Laura Rogerson Moore '74 #2dorm, and build a dance program. In her 33 years at Lawrence, she has remained connected to her Applewild roots, as she teaches so many Green and White graduates who move on to high school at LA. She also had the great pleasure of working closely with her former Latin teacher Chick Doe, who “graduated” from Applewild to Lawrence, too.

Over her three-plus decades, Laura has taught a variety of English courses, from Black Literature in America and 18th and 19th Century Women Writers to Honors English classes and, for a few years, Latin. In her first ten years, she developed the school’s dance program in athletics and ushered it into the arts, where it thrives today. Laura has served as chair of the English department since 2004, and the National Association of Independent Schools has published four articles about her department’s innovations in teaching and learning.

Committed to the health and well-being of her students and her community, Laura has also served on the Intervention Team since its inception in 1983, serving as chair for the past twelve years. A student-centered response to at-risk behaviors, the I Team provides a confidential, non-disciplinary resource for students concerned about their own well-being and that of their friends. She takes great pride in designing and offering a system that provides an age-appropriate mechanism for kids to help each other “stay safe, healthy, and in school.”

In a multitude of ways throughout her time at LA, Laura has contributed to the School, its mission, and its programs. She started the School’s literary magazine, chaired the 1991 Residential Life Task Force that created its first affiliate program; served on the 2007 Strategic Planning Steering Committee, again chairing a residential life task force which designed a residential curriculum; coordinated the School’s complex reaccreditation process from 2011-2014, and is now coordinating its Curriculum Project with an eye toward revising the School’s programs to meet the demands of the 21st century.

As she works to make LA a better place in which to teach and to learn, she also serves the town of Groton as long-time member of the Historic Districts Commission, among other volunteer positions. In fact, for the town’s 350th celebration, she and Mrs. Hager co-wrote and directed an original musical called Keeping Time. She also serves her community in New Hampshire, where she and her husband Robinson Moore own a home on the shores of Newfound Lake, acting as a trustee of the Newfound Lake Region Association.

Meanwhile, Laura continues to pursue her dream of being a writer. Laura has had poetry and short fiction published in a variety of magazines, journals and anthologies. In 2010, her first book of poems Yahoodips was published by Finishing Line Press. She is currently at work on a second poetry collection and a young adult novella.

Laura and her husband Rob, who is LA’s Assistant Head of School, met at Lawrence in their first year of teaching and have raised three daughters – Grace, Katherine and Elibet – all of whom graduated from LA and have gone on to successful careers as a nurse practitioner, an artist, and an English teacher.

Remarks by Laura Rogerson Moore ‘74

“Thank you, Applewild boys and girls and teachers, for being here to celebrate with me.

Thank you, Laverack family, Alumni Council, Christie Stover and Kelly Jennison, and especially Mrs. Persis Laverack for being here today. Mrs. Laverack was one of my favorite people at Applewild. She and Mr. Laverack created this little school on a big hill in Fitchburg, and just look at how much it has grown and what a difference it continues to make for so many people. This award is as much about the two of them and the amazing things they have done as it is about the person who receives it each year.

And I am so deeply honored to be one of the people who receives it, although it’s kind of a funny thing to be given a prize for doing exactly what you always most wanted to do, for being truly fulfilled and happy. And to be considered in the same category as the amazing people who have been given the award before me, who have done their own amazing things that they love to do and have done with so much love – well, that’s just astounding. Thank you so much!

I am an English teacher. I teach high school seniors, and I write poems, and I love doing what I do.

Right now my seniors and I are working on Spoken Word poetry. As I was preparing my lessons over Thanksgiving break and thinking about what I would say to you all today, I was inspired to write my thoughts out in a spoken word poem. In it, I try to capture my Applewild years and what they mean to me, all the wonderful teachers I had and how they helped me figure out what it is I love to do and taught me how to do it well.

You may recognize some of the names I mention in the poem, but since much of my Applewild story took place thirty and forty years ago, you probably won’t recognize a number of them.

Mr. Gus Stewart was my sixth grade homeroom teacher. He used to take us out onto the tennis courts and make us march in formation. Mr. Hoover Sutton was the headmaster after Mr. Laverack, and he was very kind to me. Mr. Bill Marshall was the headmaster after Mr. Sutton, and he gave me my first job as a teacher, teaching upper school English, dance and fifth grade reading in 1982-83 with the help of Mrs. Betty Reheiser, Mrs. Eleanor Crow, and someone you may know…Mr. Mike Mullins.

Spoken Word is both the oldest and the newest form of poetry. In ancient times, poets traveled from village to village, where they were welcomed, fed, and given a place to sleep. In return, they entertained with songs, poems and stories. Today you can write your own Spoken Word poems and travel the world virtually by posting them on YouTube. “ 


November, 2015


Here on this fourth of December

of Applewild, I can claim I remember

TWICE what most can tell,

and here your confusion I’ll dispel –


I was, like you, a child

when first I came to Applewild.

At the age of ten

I had no interest in

the art of reading and writing.


In fact, with my parents

I was always fighting

to run outside,

my bike to ride,

to them I cried,

“This schoolwork I cannot abide!”


Mr. Gus Stewart taught me first

not always to think the worst,

to find the fun in learning

(though low grades I was earning).

He marched us round the tennis courts

instead of keeping us in our seats

then sent us off to sports

where we learned lessons in our cleats.


Friendships, cliques – good and bad –

formed and unformed,

made us happy, made us sad.

Together, alone, we tried to figure it out.

We couldn’t have known

there is no sure-fit route


from little to long,

from small to tall,

from brittle to strong.


We had to scale the wall

of our own best and worst choices,

our use and misuse

of our just-emerging voices.


All the while we were wanting

the certain certainty of

something of our own,

that we could count on,

to love.


You see, at that point, books and words

were not yet my good friends,

but by seventh grade with learning

I was making amends.


By then, Mr. Hoover Sutton was taking me into his care,

and in his office I often sat in a special chair.

He told me it had once belonged to his daughter,

and there I found solace,

a haven from social slaughter.


You see, I had difficulty

finding my place,

knowing how

my shyness to erase,

my utter lack of any subtle knack

for what it takes to play high stakes

boyfriends, girlfriends,

friends high, friends low,


and then it was I came to know

Mrs. Eleanor Crow.


She spoke so fast

and moved so quick

our class never lasted

long enough to get sick

of her poking and prodding

us to say what we meant

then waving her hands in the air

when her patience was spent.


She was “The Grammar Hammer.”

To her, words meant what they meant,

and she loved them too much

to let us use them without intent.


And use them we did

in stories, poems and speeches.

She gave us our voices

and pushed us beyond our reaches.


I still can recite

the first ballad I composed –

a collage of words that might

be the words

my friendship with words

did invite, incite and ignite.


sparkle sprinkle book ponder

methodic tinkle bird wonder

eternity herald grace

home melody children embrace


mass bird harmony bless

soldiers brave kindness

moonshine fading light

star atom joy bright


Then Applewild at last

sent me on my way

to high school and to college,

on up to the day

I needed to find

the job I had in mind.


You see, I was sure, even then,

of what I wanted to do –

read books, write poems,

and teach children like you,


especially children who

don’t know what they want,

who haven’t yet had the feeling

of loving learning –

nothing has yet been appealing;


kids who struggle fitting,

who “defeat”

are too often admitting;

who haven’t felt success,

who don’t know what to shoot for,

who see school as strife and stress –

they are the ones whom I root for,


to give them a place

to befriend their own mistakes,


and (if only they can trust it)

to find that future promise

to which they hold the key

that must fit.


What I wanted was to do for others

what my teachers had done for me.


So, Applewild stepped up once more.

To me, Mr. Bill Marshall opened another door,

and there on the other side,

what do you know…

stood my teacher and mentor,

Mrs. Eleanor Crow!


She and Mr. Mike Mullins

and Mrs. Betty Reheiser

taught me to teach.

They made me much wiser.


I’ve carried my Applewild lessons with me wherever I go.


To things you’ve never tried,

you must first say yes.

The loves they may hide within,

you never could guess.


Laps around the field

may become marathons,

those gasping leg cramps

one day long gone.

Dreaded long division

may become computer game design,

and taking time to read a book

may help you realign


your thinking about words –

those shapers of meaning

whose noises and networks

all round us are careening –

words that help us

express what we feel,

that comfort, that carry,

that cheer and that heal.


Words that are mean

can mean something else

when kindness kicks in

and you have love

and are loved

for yourself.


Words can make choices,

can hold and release voices.


Words can bring light into day

and bear our sleep

into dreams of what may

become of our finding

some thing we can love


so when push comes to shove,

we can love what we do

and do it with love.


So, boys and girls,

this day celebrates loving and giving

by recognizing people who are living

for what they love

and for others, too,

and this day is an Applewild lesson for you –


be generous, be kind,

and always keep in mind

it’s important to find

the thing you love most,

of which you can boast,


This, this is what I love to do.


for doing what you love brings a host

of rewards new and true.


Doing what you love

brings its own love

right back to you.